Positive Kick (Wellbore Influx) Indications

Positive kick (wellbore influx) indications mean signs showing almost 100% kick (wellbore influx) into wellbore.

wellbore influx

Positive Kick Indicators While Drilling

1. Increase in flow show

Without any increasing in flow rate in, increase in return flow indicates something coming into wellbore while drilling. Therefore, flow show instrument provided by the rigs or service companies must be checked and calibrated frequently.

2. Increase of active pit system (Pit gain)

Because drilling fluid system on the rig is a closed system, increasing in flow show without adjusting flow rate in will cause pit gain in a pit system. Nowadays, with high technology sensors, detecting change in pit level is easily accomplished at the rig site. However, visually check the pit level is importance as well for double checking figure from the sensors. Sometimes, change in pit level may be detected after the increase in flow show because it takes more time to accumulate volume enough to be able to detect by pit sensors.

3. Continue flowing while the pumps are off

When pumps are turned off, bottom hole pressure will decrease due to loss of equivalent circulating density (ECD). If there is any flow coming after pumps off, it indicates formation influx into wellbore.

Positive Kick Indicators While Tripping

There are 2 positive kick indicators while tripping as listed below;

1. Trip log deviation such as short fill up while tripping out and excess pit gain while tripping in

For tripping operation, it is very important to have a filling system via trip tank that provides continuous hole fill all time. With utilizing that system, we can compare fluid that is filled in or returned from wellbore with steel volume of tubular (drill pipe, drill collar, BHA, tubing, casing, etc). If drilling fluid volume is less than theoretical pipe displacement while tripping out or more return fluid while running in, you need to flow check and monitor the well.

  • If flow check indicates wellbore influx, crew must quickly shut the well in.
  • If flow check does not show any influx, drill string must be run back to bottom in order to circulate at least bottom up to ensure hole condition.

2. Positive flow when pipe is static

Every time that pipe in static condition. Trip tank with correct filling system must be monitored all time by both rig personnel and mud logger. If volume in trip tank increases, personnel must confirm flow check and prepare to shut the well in.


Coleman, S. (2018). Well Control Quiz Online. [online] Well Control Quiz Online – Test Your Well Control Knowledge for Free. Available at: http://wellcontrolquiz.com/ [Accessed 2 Aug. 2018].

Cormack, D. (2007). An introduction to well control calculations for drilling operations. 1st ed. Texas: Springer.

Crumpton, H. (2010). Well Control for Completions and Interventions. 1st ed. Texas: Gulf Publishing.

Grace, R. (2003). Blowout and well control handbook [recurso electrónico]. 1st ed. Paises Bajos: Gulf Professional Pub.

Grace, R. and Cudd, B. (1994). Advanced blowout & well control. 1st ed. Houston: Gulf Publishing Company.

Watson, D., Brittenham, T. and Moore, P. (2003). Advanced well control. 1st ed. Richardson, Tex.: Society of Petroleum Engineers.

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