Next-Generation Kick Detection During Connections

Topics: Well integrity/control
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At least 25% of all influx events on deepwater wells occur while making connections, but few deepwater-rig contractors use kick-detection alarms to alert the driller during a connection. Because of the transient-flow characteristics associated with connections, kick detection during connections is the most challenging to automate effectively. An influx-detection-at-pumps-stop (IDAPS) software was developed to provide early warning of abnormal flowback conditions during connections.


On the basis of an internal review of kick-detection technology, an operator determined that three different well-­construction activities must be included in any automated, smart kick-detection system: drilling, making connections, and tripping.

A multiyear effort was initiated in 2012 to develop an automated kick-detection system specific to connections. This effort resulted in the development of the IDAPS software that is now in daily use in the operator’s real-time operations centers (RTOCs), where it is part of the routine suite of monitoring programs used during the well-construction phase of offshore wells. Most existing influx- or kick-detection systems designed for RTOC users require frequent interaction with a knowledgeable user, but the IDAPS application was designed to require only minimal interaction to automatically detect connection-related possible influxes, with an associated influx probability from low to confirmed, and to alert RTOC users in real time.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 178821, “Next-Generation Kick Detection During Connections: Influx-Detection-at-Pumps-Stop Software,” by B.A. Tarr, SPE, D.W. Ladendorf, SPE, and D. Sanchez, Shell, and G.M. Milner, SPE, CoVar Applied Technologies, prepared for the 2016 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, 1–3 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Next-Generation Kick Detection During Connections

18 December 2016

Volume: 69 | Issue: 1