“Automated Kick Control Procedure for an Influx in Managed Pressure Drilling Operations”

Authors: Jing Zhou, Jan Einar Gravdal, Per Strand and Svein Hovland,
Affiliation: University of Agder, International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS), Statoil and National Oilwell Varco
Reference: 2016, Vol 37, No 1, pp. 31-40.

Keywords: Well Control, MPD, Kick, PWD

Abstract: Within drilling of oil and gas wells, the Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) method with active control of wellbore pressure during drilling has partly evolved from conventional well control procedures. However, for MPD operations the instrumentation is typically more extensive compared to conventional drilling. Despite this, any influx of formation fluids (commonly known as a kick) during MPD operations is typically handled by conventional well control methods, at least if the kick is estimated to be larger than a threshold value. Conventional well control procedures rely on manual control of the blow out preventer, pumps, and choke valves and do not capitalize on the benefits from the instrumentation level associated with MPD. This paper investigates two alternative well control procedures specially adapted to backpressure MPD: the dynamic shut-in (DSI) procedure and the automatic kick control (AKC) procedure. Both methods capitalize on improvements in Pressure While Drilling (PWD) technology. A commercially available PWD tool buffers high-resolution pressure measurements, which can be used in an automated well control procedure. By using backpressure MPD, the choke valve opening is tuned automatically using a feedback-feedforward control method. The two procedures are evaluated using a high fidelity well flow model and cases from a North Sea drilling operation are simulated. The results show that using AKC procedure reduces the time needed to establish control of the well compared to DSI procedure. It also indicates that the AKC procedure reduces the total kick size compared to the DSI procedure, and thereby reduces the risk of lost circulation.

PDF PDF (1190 Kb)        DOI: 10.4173/mic.2016.1.3

DOI forward links to this article:
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  title={{Automated Kick Control Procedure for an Influx in Managed Pressure Drilling Operations}},
  author={Zhou, Jing and Gravdal, Jan Einar and Strand, Per and Hovland, Svein},
  journal={Modeling, Identification and Control},
  publisher={Norwegian Society of Automatic Control}