Bottom hole pressure change while performing well control operation with driller’s method

In the first circulation of driller’s method, driller circulates gas kick with 25 spm and the initial circulating pressure (ICP) is 1600 psi. The initial shut in drill pipe pressure is 450 psi. After shift change, another driller accidentally changes pump rate to 30 spm but he still holds drill pipe pressure constant.

What will happen to bottom hole pressure?

Let’ start with the basic formula


When the pump speed is increased, slow circulating rate (SCR), which is caused by friction, will increase in order to maintain constant bottom hole pressure. However, for this case, the drill pipe pressure is maintained constant with while increasing pump rate therefore the bottom pressure will decrease.

How much bottom hole pressure will decrease?

Current SCR = ICP – SIDPP = 1600 – 450 = 1150 psi

New SCR = 1656 psi

With new pump rate at 30 spm, the new SCR should be 1656psi but the driller maintains the old SCR, 1150 psi. Therefore, the bottom hole pressure will decrease by 506 psi (1656 – 1150).

Conclusion: The point that I would like to mention is that when you change your pump rate while performing well control operation. You must ensure that you do proper way to maintain bottom hole pressure. Otherwise, you may accidentally either decrease or increase the bottom hole pressure. If you accidentally decrease the bottom hole pressure, the influx will continue coming into a well and you will be in the big trouble. On the other hand, if you accidentally increase the bottom hole pressure, you may break wellbore and end up with lost circulation issue.

Reference book: Well Control Books

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4 Responses to Bottom hole pressure change while performing well control operation with driller’s method

  1. Rajinder SIngh says:

    well in this case, the right procedure would be to maintain the NEW ICP constant , which would be more than the ICP with the lesser SCR. as the decreased ICP is maintained constant, this would result in a decrease in the BHP hence more Influx.

  2. mostefa says:

    what is the best parameters for reaming and back reaming for eatch section?

    • This is very tricky question because it depends on several factors as formation types, flow rate, BHA, etc. You need to start from low RPM (30 – 50), flow rate at drilling rate, and pulling speed around 1.5 mins/stands. Then based on the base line performance, you can adjust some parameters to make it work best for you.

  3. piyush kant sushama says:

    I appreciate the way ,bottom hole pressure decrease and increase after changing the pump rate has been explained.



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