A new oilfield product to prevent one of the oil and gas industry’s most deadly situations is about to undergo field trials next week after simulator testing revealed astonishing results.
Safe Influx is a ground-breaking new technology to help avoid well blowouts by automating well control operations and removing the human risk factor associated with well control.
Invented last year by Phil Hassard, head of drilling simulation at Robert Gordon University, the technology is about to get its first outing in the field at the Weatherford Land Rig at Bridge of Don Aberdeen following overwhelmingly successful tests on a DrillSIM:6000 drilling simulator, manufactured by Drilling Systems, which is part of the 3T Energy Group. Dozens of tests were carried out on the simulator replicating a huge range of well conditions from extreme to normal operations and monitoring the effects of influx flows both with and without the product.
The data test results were impressive. When Safe Influx technology was used, influx size was dramatically reduced to a safe minimum five times faster than conventional methods.
Co-founder and technical director at Safe Influx, Phil Hassard, said:¨”Well control is the biggest risk in the oil and gas industry and every year we see blow outs resulting in loss of life. Numerous studies show that up to 67% of these blow outs are caused by human factors so we knew that removing these and automating well control would mitigate the risk.
“Although we recognised we had a potentially revolutionary product, we needed to test the concept to be sure and this is where Drilling Systems’ simulators came in.
“Using Drilling Systems’ DrillSIM:6000 we were able to test how Safe Influx technology functioned in a wide range of well types and different conditions. We were thorough in our research and used widely differing variations of reservoir properties, formation pressures and mud weights.
“We took readings of this data and compared the results with and without using the Safe Influx system. The results were remarkable. There were huge differences with the system dramatically reducing the influx size.
“Without using the simulator, it would have been extremely difficult to verify proof of concept. The only way would have been to test on real wells, which would have taken significant time and money to undertake. Using the simulator shortcut this process for us.
“Now we know we have a revolutionary, life-saving new solution which works, we are looking forward to launching it following our field trials. We simply couldn’t have done this without the help of Drilling Systems and the DrillSIM:6000.”
Clive Battisby, director of simulator operations at 3T Energy Group, which includes Drilling Systems, said: “We are delighted to have helped the Safe Influx team to bring this pioneering new life-saving technology to market. Our simulators realistically replicate real-life drilling and well control operations so enabled Phil and his team see and experience what would happen in a wide variety of scenarios without ever having to leave the safe environment of the classroom. Safe Influx will help to improve safety across the oil and gas sector and we wish Phil and his team the very best of luck in this new venture.”
3T Energy Group is transforming the global energy training market through technology and offers cutting-edge solutions such as virtual reality, augmented reality, e-learning and training management software, as well as traditional training, to enhance the skills, knowledge and performance of energy sector personnel.