How To Perform Volumetric Well Control Method

This article will demonstrate how to perform volume metric well control. There are a total of 5 steps as listed below;

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Step 1 – Calculation

Three calculations must be determined before conducting volumetric well control.

1. Safety Factor (SF) – The Safety Factor (SF) in an increase in bottom hole pressure which we allow to happen naturally when gas influx migrates up with the shut in well. SF is important because it will allow the bottom hole pressure to be over formation pressure so the well is not in underbalance condition while conducting later steps. Typically, SF is around 50 – 200 psi. If the initial shut in casing pressure is very close to maximum allowable surface pressure. Personnel must select small safety factor to prevent fracturing formation.

2. Pressure Increment (PI) – It is pressure used as a working pressure while conducting Volume Metric well control. This pressure will be equal amount of hydrostatic pressure of mud bled during each step.

3. Mud Increment (MI) – It is volume of mud bled off from the annulus to reduce hydrostatic pressure by amount of Pressure Increment. It is very important that the rig must have an accurate measurement to measure small amount of mud bled from annulus. Mud Increment is determined by the following equation:

 146 How To Perform Volumetric Method - MI


Mud Increment is in bbl.

PI is pressure increment in psi.

ACF is annular capacity factor in bbl/ft

MW is mud weight in ppg.

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Volumetric Well Control – When It Will Be Used

Volumetric well control method is a special well control method which will be used when the normal circulation cannot be done. It is not a kill method but it the method to control bottom hole pressure and allow influx to migrate without causing any damage to the well.


There are several situations where you cannot circulate the well as follows:

• Pumps broken down

• Plugged drill string/bit

• Drill string above the kick

• Drill string is out of the hole completely

With the volumetric method, the volume of gas influx will allow migrating and casing pressure will increase till a certain figure then a specific amount of mud will bleed off to compensate the increase in casing pressure. The volumetric method will allow the kick to surface while the bottom hole pressure is almost constant. Successful use of volumetric method requires personnel understand three basic concepts – Continue reading