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Failure Analysis of the Tripping Operation and its Impact on Well Control

[+] Author Affiliations
Majeed Abimbola, Faisal Khan, Stephen Butt

Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada

Vikram Garaniya

University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS, Australia

Paper No. OMAE2015-42245, pp. V001T01A055; 10 pages
  • ASME 2015 34th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 1: Offshore Technology; Offshore Geotechnics
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, May 31–June 5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5647-5
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


As the cost of drilling and completion of offshore well is soaring, efforts are required for better well planning. Safety is to be given the highest priority over all other aspects of well planning. Among different element of drilling, well control is one of the most critical components for the safety of the operation, employees and the environment. Primary well control is ensured by keeping the hydrostatic pressure of the mud above the pore pressure across an open hole section. A loss of well control implies an influx of formation fluid into the wellbore which can culminate to a blowout if uncontrollable. Among the factors that contribute to a blowout are: stuck pipe, casing failure, swabbing, cementing, equipment failure and drilling into other well. Swabbing often occurs during tripping out of an open hole. In this study, investigations of the effects of tripping operation on primary well control are conducted. Failure scenarios of tripping operations in conventional overbalanced drilling and managed pressure drilling are studied using fault tree analysis. These scenarios are subsequently mapped into Bayesian Networks to overcome fault tree modelling limitations such s dependability assessment and common cause failure. The analysis of the BN models identified RCD failure, BHP reduction due to insufficient mud density and lost circulation, DAPC integrated control system, DAPC choke manifold, DAPC back pressure pump, and human error as critical elements in the loss of well control through tripping out operation.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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