TOPICS OF INTEREST
More Tweaks Than Transformation in Rewrite of Well Control Rules
The new well control rule is evidence that memories of the Macondo blowout remain a powerful force for caution. Despite the rhetoric on both sides of this hot-button issue suggesting big changes, the final changes were incremental.
Model Simulates Gas Kicks in Nonaqueous Drilling Fluids
Nonaqueous drilling fluids, such as synthetic-based and oil-based mud (SBM and OBM, respectively), are used frequently to drill one or more sections of a well to reduce drilling problems such as shale sloughing, wellbore stability, and stuck pipe.
UAE Case Study Highlights Challenges of a Mature Gas-Condensate Field
Three onshore fields in the Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, have more than 30 years of production history from more than 50 gas-condensate wells.
Managed-Pressure-Drilling Equipment Augments Deepwater Well Control
This paper describes how a technique known as applied-surface-backpressure managed-pressure drilling (ASBP-MPD) can alleviate the limitations of conventional deepwater well control.
Since the 1980s, many technical works have focused on improving the ability to detect hydrocarbons inside the riser and safely remove them from the system. This trend gained extra momentum with the advent of systems such as riser-gas handlers and managed-pressure drilling.
Qualification of Biopolymer in an Offshore Single-Well Test
A single-well polymer-injection and back-production test has been performed in an oil and gas field offshore Norway. The objective of the test was to verify at field conditions the properties measured in the laboratory for the biopolymer schizophyllan.
Building Wells With An Eye on the Future
Wells often end up producing oil and gas far longer than expected. But that often requires the operator to commit to building and maintaining facilities for the long haul.
Well Integrity and Well Control
Nonaqueous drilling fluids have been used extensively by the industry, particularly in complex drilling scenarios. They carry some concerns, however, with implications for well integrity.
Design and Surveillance Tools Help Lower Integrity Risks for High-Temperature Wells
Use of Managed-Pressure Drilling Requires Adjustments To Bridge Gap to Well Control
Managed-pressure drilling (MPD) challenges the conventional drilling paradigm, along with drilling-contractor and operator policies and standards. Conventional drilling practices for connections, flow checks, tripping, and well control have been long understood and standardized.
Pressure Measurements Plus Simulation Help Differentiate Between Downhole Events
In this study, pressure-while-drilling technologies are combined with software simulations to differentiate drilling-fluid thermal expansion, wellbore ballooning, and formation influx during riserless drilling operations.
Company Integrates Human Factors Into Corporate Well-Control Manual
Many of the worst oilfield incidents have been attributable to human factors. Consequently, a corporate well-control manual was refreshed to include human factors in the management of well-control incidents.
Offshore Drillers Attack Costs and Downtime With Data-Driven Deals
New long-term contracts between offshore drillers and equipment makers reduce downtime and risks associated with key components, from blowout preventers to risers.
Retrofitting MPD Systems to Deepwater Rigs Aids Drilling, Efficiency, and Process Safety
The unique properties of deepwater formations pose significant challenges to the capabilities of conventional drilling rigs. Using automated drilling equipment, including MPD, efficiency and cost savings can accompany safety.
How To Develop a Well-Specific Capping-Stack Blowout Contingency Plan
Developing a well-specific subsea-capping contingency plan involves assessing the feasibility of deploying a capping stack from a floating vessel, determining the weight and stability, and performing dynamic-flow simulations of closing the capping stack outlets.
Well Integrity and Well Control
One of the more important aspects of well integrity during drilling operations is early kick detection. Recently, new technologies and re-search have been applied or developed to improve the kick-detection systems and to overcome some of the difficulties.
Mitigating Gas in Riser Rapid Unloading for Deepwater Dual-Gradient Well Control
A study using a dynamic multiphase-flow software simulated a rapid-unloading event and determined the gas fraction in the riser annulus and the effect on riser fluid levels.
Next-Generation Kick Detection During Connections
An influx-detection-at-pumps-stop (IDAPS) software was developed to provide early warning of abnormal flowback conditions during connections.
Methodology and Array Technology for Finding and Describing Leaks in a Well
This paper presents a new technology and methods that can detect leak locations in a well and illustrate the flow profile of the leak.
Blowout Prevention and Relief-Well Planning for the Wheatstone Big-Bore Gas-Well Project
The engineering and operational planning to ensure that no uncontrolled hydrocarbon releases occur during the execution of subsea big-bore gas wells are described.
BOPs Become the Focus of Data-Driven Scrutiny
Well control is built around huge steel machines, but the future of the business is digital. Data have become a critical asset as operators and service companies work to increase the safety and reliability of their products and operations.
Rethinking the Blowout Preventer
A new blowout preventer design shows potential for delivering much greater shearing power than current BOPs. The design is simpler and more efficient than current BOPs.
Solving the Casing-Wear Puzzle Using Stiff-String Model
Precise casing-wear prediction is important for improving well integrity and longevity, while simultaneously making casing designs more cost-effective. There are no industry guidelines for casing-wear prediction. This article presents a validated predictive model.
Advancing Deepwater Kick Detection
This paper describes experiences, challenges, and approaches to solving the problems related to creating an advanced early kick-detection system suitable for floating mobile offshore drilling units.
New Approach Tests Cement-Sheath Integrity During Thermal Cycling
Operators in the North Sea have been concerned about the ability of the cement sheath to maintain sealing integrity because of the increasing number of reported failures in mature wells. This paper presents results from a new laboratory setup to visualize the source of issues.
Method of Surface Interception To Access Annulus With Abnormal Gas Pressure
The North field offshore Qatar was observed to have a chance of inner annuli becoming charged with shallow-gas pressure with possible communication to other annuli, which was thought to be a well integrity concern.
The tragic blowout of Macondo has triggered many technical and managerial developments in the field of well integrity.
Flow Sensor Technology Seeks to Replace the Coriolis Meter
Australian technology developer MezurX is touting its newly introduced flow, density, and mud monitoring system as a significantly better alternative to the widely used Coriolis meter.
Smart Kick Detection—First Step on the Well-Control-Automation Journey
On the basis of safety performance results achieved through automation downstream, an operator set out to achieve the same advances in its upstream business.
Analytical Model Estimates Flow Rate and Total Discharge in Gas-Well Blowouts
Despite multitier safeguards, blowouts occur. When such accidents happen, rate estimation is an important and daunting task.
Flexible, Single-Skin Completion Concept Meets Well Integrity, Zonal Isolation Needs
As deeper and more complex well designs proliferate throughout oil and gas fields, well completion methods are challenged and new technologies are emerging to ensure safe, cost-efficient, and optimized completions.
Using Schematics for Managing Well Barriers
Well integrity and well barriers have been part of the exploitation for oil and gas for nearly a century, with the introduction of the blowout preventer (BOP) in the 1920s.
Deepwater Well Control Training and Education in a State of Transition
Well control training programs for deepwater drillers and key rig personnel are undergoing a major overhaul that has been years in the making.
More Exact Measures Raise Tough Questions: Regulators and Drillers Adjust to Precise Fluid Flow Measures
More precise measurement can create a dilemma. One example is the precise fluid flow measurements used to control managed pressure drilling (MPD) systems.
Early Kick Detection: Testing New Concepts
After the 2010 subsea blowout of the Macondo well that resulted in 11 deaths and the worst oil spill in US history, early kick detection technology found itself at the top of the wish list for regulators and offshore companies seeking to avoid similar accidents.
Offshore Operators Shed Costs, But Can They Keep Them Off?
Offshore drillers have been battered by the plunge in oil prices with falling day rates and a growing number of older rigs headed for demolition.
Effective Well-Integrity Management in a Mature Sour-Oil Field
A large mature onshore Saudi Arabian oil field is producing sour crude oil that multiplies well-integrity challenges.
Modeling Reveals Hidden Conditions That Impair Wellbore Stability and Integrity
This paper describes thermal modeling and its combination with drilling-fluid analysis to reveal concealed changes in well conditions during various drilling and completion operations.
Eagle Ford Shale Well Control: Drilling and Tripping
The authors describe the development of well-control techniques that allowed successful drilling operations in the Piloncillo Ranch lease in south Texas.
Causal Factors and Improvement Measures Related to Well Control
From 2009 to 2010, there was an increase in the number of well-control incidents on the Norwegian continental shelf reported to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA).
Offshore Industry Gets a Fresh Look at Foamed Cement
An ongoing research project started nearly 3 years ago by the US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is shedding new light on what really happens to foamed cement as it is pumped deep down offshore wells during completions.
A Request for Two Statistics Could Change Offshore Drilling
A scientist hired by federal regulators to look for ways to reduce the risk of well blowouts said it is time for the oil and gas industry to treat kicks taken while drilling the same way doctors treat heart attacks.
Testing the World’s First Modular Capture Vessels
In response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident that claimed the lives of 11 men and led to the worst oil spill in United States history, the offshore industry devised new technologies and methods that would allow for a quicker response in the US Gulf of Mexico.
Pushing the Frontier Through Wellbore Strengthening
Making hole has become a more difficult and complex operation as operators move into untapped horizons, especially deepwater and unconventional fields.
High-Pressure/High-Temperature BOP Equipment Becoming a Reality
The offshore industry has taken another step toward opening up new deepwater frontiers to exploration with Maersk Drilling ordering the first 20,000-psi blowout preventer (BOP) made by GE Oil and Gas.
BOP Monitoring Seeks To Reduce Downtime, Increase Insight
Many problems that result in BOP downtime could be prevented if only drilling contractors knew which parts of the subsea system to replace and when. BOP monitoring systems have been developed to increase reliability by enabling preventive maintenance.
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