Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems used When Drilling
Companies in the oil and gas industry use blowout prevention techniques to prevent disasters. These techniques can be used to avoid potential downtime and damage to systems, employees, and the environment. Companies take their responsibility to prevent calamities and ensure drilling operations go smoothly seriously. Several countries have regulations that require oil and gas companies to abide by strict rules for “well control”. These regulations also call for employees to have the right training on well control procedures and policies. The Blowout Preventer is the most important piece of equipment for preventing blowouts and other disasters at drilling operations.
Preventing a “Kick”
Blowout prevention equipment is used at drilling sites to prevent a “kick” or high upward pressure formed when fluid surges up the well. Drilling engineers use a kind of “drilling mud” to maintain a healthy pressure balance. This mud allows them to maintain an equilibrium between upward and downward pressure. This prevents the valves from becoming breached and causing an overflow of energy resource, which causes a lot of damage.
Blowout Preventers (BOPs)
The blowout preventer is the foolproof final measure to prevent blowouts in the event of a severe kick from a well. BOPs work by shutting down the fluid supply to and from the well in the final ditch. This prevents the kick from becoming a full blowout. They are made from a few different vital features including an annular, an accumulator, RAM, and valves. They are typically mounted to the wellhead and are a combination of several BOP stacks. The stacks are either annulars or RAMs.
Annular BOPs, which are also called Universal Blowout Preventing Equipment, is able to seal different pipes with various diameters. An annular BOP is made from a donut-shaped piece of rubber that can be mechanically squeezed into the inlet of a drill collar, drill pipe, or even an open hole to seal the opening and prevent fluid from passing through. An efficient BOP stack has an annualar on the top and a RAM on the bottom. This combination provides more effective protection against blowouts and increases overall rig safety.
These kinds of Blowout Preventers have sealing elements on each side of the BOP body and they are controlled with hydraulic cylinders attached to the sides. In the event of a kick or uncontrollable pressure from the well, the RAM BOP forms a seal around the drill pipe. Some kinds of RAM BOP will completely shut off an open hole too. In the worst-case scenario where there is no better alternative solution, a RAM BOP is able to cut off the drill-pipe and seal the hole at the top.
Companies in the oil and gas industry have spent years researching the best methods to find and obtain the right energy source both on land and at sea. Building an oil rig of any kind takes a substantial investment. That’s why it is so important to install proper control and blowout prevention techniques to ensure the rig is able to safely and effectively extract energy resources while keeping employees safe and secure.