Blowout Contingency Study Validates RWIS as Safest and Most Effective Well Control Measure

02 Jul 2020

Add Energy’s well control experts were recently contracted by an International Oil and Gas operator to develop a robust contingency plan for their drilling campaign of a deep-water exploration well in the Mediterranean Sea.

During the project, Add Energy assessed the risk and potential consequences of their drilling operations to help assure safety and mitigate risks associated with the campaign. The primary scope of work included evaluations of the potential flow rates and the associated kill requirements in the unlikely event of a blowout situation. The study revealed prolific reservoirs with high flow potentials and the well control team at Add Energy offered options for well control as a contingency measure.

Because the operators company internal policies and government regulations mandated single relief well contingency measures must be adhered to, and due to the high flow rates of the well, the well control team advised that contracting access rights to Trendsetter Engineering’s Relief Well Injection Spool (RWIS), would be the most effective and safest contingency and control measure for this scenario. This conclusion was based on the results of an engineering study, whereby Add Energy analysed the size and lengths of injection flow paths connected to the RWIS and validated the use of RWIS, based on the well kill parameters during pumping operations.

The team concluded that having access rights to the RWIS will provide this operator with an additional layer of safety that ensures that a blowout, that would typically require more than one intercept, can be killed with a single relief well, which in turn, reduces the risk for the entire well control operation.

Morten Haug Emilsen, EVP of Well Control at Add Energy commented on the importance of the RWIS for the industry: “This is just another case that demonstrates the industry's focus on safe operations. Companies drilling wells with access rights to the RWIS as a part of their contingency plans are in a better position when it comes to recovery from a worst case incident, compared to wells without the use of this technology."

Brett Morry, Technical Director at Trendsetter Engineering commented on the recent demand for the hardware: “Over the last year, we have seen a significant increase in demand for access rights to the RWIS from operators, regulating bodies and even insurance brokers. We are proud to be able to offer a solution to the industry that not only revolutionises contingency and control measures for subsea wells, but also has the capacity to unlock big bore developments to maximise production, with less investment for operators.”

About the RWIS:

The RWIS has been designed and built to significantly increase the pumping capacity of a single relief well by enabling the ability to pump in excess of 200 bbl per minute of kill mud through a single relief well, utilizing multiple vessels as opposed to the conventional method of multiple relief wells, requiring multiple MODU’s. The RWIS is installed on the relief well wellhead beneath the blowout preventer (BOP) to provide additional flow connections into the wellbore. Using high‐pressure flex lines, the inlets enable pumping units from separate floating vessels, in addition to the relief well rig, to deliver a high‐rate dynamic kill.

In addition to the RWIS assuring single relief well contingency, the RWIS also enables operators to optimize well economics and help unlock projects that wouldn’t normally be sanctioned. In purchasing access rights to the RWIS, operators are able to comply with legislation and reduce the number of wells required to meet production targets by increasing the completion size of the well bore, reducing CAPEX costs and maximizing production.