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Blowout Prevention in Oil and Gas

During well drilling, formation fluids in high-pressure reservoirs can unexpectedly enter the wellbore. This sudden flow is called a kick, and if pressure control systems fail, it could result in oil and gas bursting uncontrollably from the well in what is known as a blowout.

Blowouts are severe safety hazards. Blowout prevention (BOP) equipment minimises this risk by controlling and monitoring kick fluids, and allowing wells to be quickly sealed at the surface in the event of a formation kick.

Key fact: Newly discovered oil and gas deposits have static pressures up to 8000 psi

BOP valves are installed at the top of the well and can cut through the drill string and seal the well. Annular Blowout Preventers use an elastomeric, doughnut-shaped sealing device to close off the space around tubing, casing, and drill pipes, even when they’re out of the drillhole.

Ram Style Blowout Preventers only seal a well when these parts are inside. They're composed of two steel plungers (rams) that close together. Ram BOPs are installed between the wellhead and the annular BOP, and come in four types: pipe, blind, shearing blind, and variable bore rams.

Benefits

  • Controls formation fluids

  • Quickly seals wells

  • Prevents blowouts

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