I was asked about BOP testing procedures from my junior staff on the rig. This is very simple but important question; therefore, I would like to share with you as well about the BOP testing procedure.
Note: my reference is based on API RP 53.
General BOP testing procedures
• Use water to test BOP’s. The reason is that water has less compressibility than mud.
• Make up testing assembly and set in into a wellhead profile. Ensure that the casing valve must be left opened and there must be personnel monitoring the outlet of casing valve all time while testing. You must ensure that personnel who monitor the outlet must stay for from the BOP while it is being tested. The reason behind this step is to prevent pressure build up in the casing if the test plug is leaking.
• Circulate through choke/kill lines, choke manifold, standpipe manifold, and valves to ensure that all lines are full with water. This practice is for preventing pressure dropping off while testing.
• Line up cement unit and rig team shut rams and valves as per each rig specific testing sequence
• Pressure test must be low and high, respectively, and the pressure should be stabilized with minimum bleed off at least 5 minutes. Ensure that pressure recording on a chart is recorded correctly.
• Ensure that any equipment doest not pass a pressure test requirement must be reported to supervisors.
• Continue pressure testing until all equipment is tested as per each rig specific.
• Rig down testing assembly.
BOP testing period
Function test BOP: Every week, personnel must perform function test BOP alternating between remote panels.
Full BOP test:There are 3 categories that you should consider for full BOP test.
1. Prior to supping the well or the first time that BOP is installed on the well.
2. After repairing or disconnecting of any pressure sealing elements of BOP.
3. As per MMS, you can use BOP for 21 days (3 weeks) before you need to test it again. Or you must follow the local regulations. For example, in the North Sea, they allow you only 14 days before next BOP test.
High pressure test for RAMS and auxiliary equipment
High pressure test to rated working pressure of RAMS BOP and auxiliary equipment OR rated working pressure of your wellhead. Select the lower number. For example, you BOP is rated for 10,000 psi and your wellhead is rated for 6500 psi. Your high pressure test for the RAMS BOP and auxiliary equipment must be only 6500 psi.
High pressure test for Annular Preventer
High pressure test should apply to 70% of rated working pressure or RAMS test pressure. Select the lower number. For example, you test your ram at 5,000 psi and the annular working pressure is 6,500 psi. You need to test your annular to 3500 psi (70% of rams testing pressure).
Low pressure test for both annular and RAMs preventer
200 – 300 psi should be applied for a low pressure test and the period is 5 minutes.
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Watson, D., Brittenham, T. and Moore, P. (2003). Advanced well control. 1st ed. Richardson, Tex.: Society of Petroleum Engineers.