During Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2017 in Houston, Add Energy and Trendsetter Engineering (TEI) co-hosted an open house at Trendsetter’s Global Readiness Center showcasing their collaboration on the Relief Well Injection Spool (RWIS). During this event, industry leaders from around the world gathered to learn about this innovative tool.
A subsea blowout and the subsequent relief well drilling and drawn out kill operation is challenging. Many factors are increasing the difficulty of engineering a successful resolution, including higher pressure reservoirs, shallower reservoirs, greater water depth, bigger completions, longer whole sections, higher gas/oil ratios etc. The dynamic kill requirements may exceed the capability of a single traditional relief well.
Coordinating a kill operation with multiple relief wells that must simultaneously intersect the blowing well may be challenging or impossible. There is no actual experience of doing this in an offshore environment.
The Relief Well Injection Spool (RWIS) is a device that increases the flow capacity of a single relief well. In many scenarios, this is a safer and less challenging option to drilling multiple relief wells. The RWIS sits between the relief wellhead and the BOP, and it provides inlets for multiple pumping vessels to hydraulically connect via flexible lines and inject kill fluid into the relief well (see figure). For blowouts where the kill requirements are lower, the RWIS may still provide benefits by allowing a shallower intersect that saves time and limits the spill volumes. In cases where the dynamic kill requirements drive the well design, the RWIS may provide significant savings on the casing, completion and field development.
Since 2010, Add Energy and TEI have teamed to work together on multiple projects. In 2015, the companies came together with the aim to further develop technology that benefits the energy industry by increasing safety and allowing for more cost-effective drilling operations, resulting in the development of the RWIS. TEI utilized their expertise in designing, procurement, manufacturing and testing of complex subsea systems to conceptualize and develop the RWIS. Meanwhile, Add Energy’s Control and Blowout Support Team tapped into its extensive knowledge in multiphase dynamic flow simulations for contingency planning and helped perform many multiphase simulations. Utilizing both TEI’s subsea engineering experience and Add Energy’s expert on-site advisory for blowouts and well control incidents, the two companies created a breakthrough tool for dynamic bottom kill relief well applications.
“Since 2010 the collaboration between Add Energy and TEI has resulted in enhanced and safer blowout control solutions for the industry,” said Roger Pool, General Manager, Add Energy, North America. “Our companies now work together on several fronts, ensuring our shared clients benefit from the best attributes of both companies. The RWIS product is a key example of how our partnership has delivered a stronger, more focused solution to the market.”
According to Brett Morry, Global Technical Director Trendsetter Engineering, “It will become the equipment standard for blowout contingency planning in the future. It has become the latest tool for increasing safety and reaction time in responding to a well control event.”
Looking ahead, the RWIS will allow the industry to maintain maximum safety during exploration and the drilling of wells in challenging environments.