BOP testing procedures

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.

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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.


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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16 Responses to BOP testing procedures

  1. Kyi Lwin says:

    very useful for me, thanks

  2. Paulo says:

    Very good it helps a lot.

    Could you inform us the Ton miles calculation for BOP´s run?

  3. josseph martuin benedict says:

    why a low test be perfomed on all pres test.

  4. josseph martuin benedict says:

    bop test explained very beautifuly

  5. Mostafa says:

    Thanks for the explanation,

    My BOP stack is 2 double Ram 15K plus the annular, 10 K ,CAMERON TL, I have 2 Questions:

    I was asked to test the top fixed ram by closing the bottom fixed ram and do the pressure test in between, as We dont have plug tester to fit my 5 1/2 DP and cross over is not available., I did not accept this but people were forcing me and said this is normal and We do that if We have problem with the test plug.

    The choke and kill line arrangement is kind of strange to me, the stack is as below:

    Pipe ram, variable,Blind,pipe ram and annular, so, kill line is connected to the blind ram side outlet and the chock line is connected below on the VBR ram side outlet, and I have nothing conected below my bottom fixed ram and if I want to move choke and kill valves down I have to cut all the fixed steel pipes coonected to hydraulic actuated valves, please advise

    • Mostafa,

      The first one: This is pretty weird set up. The RAMs are not design to hold pressure from the top. I need more details about this before I can say it is OK or not. For now, it is not quite good for me.

      The second one: This set up works for me. Kill line on the top is to minimize gas trap in BOP. You don’t need to have the line below the fixed ram. The reason being is if you want to fix the choke or kill lines and valves, you can use the bottom pipe ram to shut the well in while fixing the issue with choke and kill line.


  6. Fadly says:

    I want to ask…
    How many percent maximum pressure drop for BOP test in 5 min or 10 min?
    for example we test 5000 Psi ( what is the maximum pressure drop we can said the test pass.


  7. hamoudi says:

    i would like to have a procdure for recertification drilling bop (annular & with rams)13″5/8 an base.
    1- is there a well-defined procedure or not test?.
    2-what are the criteria or conditions to perform a hydrostatic test?.
    3-bop (annular and rams) they are tested together or separately?.

  8. OMAR says:


  9. OMAR says:


  10. OMAR says:

    bop testing period
    what is ( MMS ) MEAN?

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