Bottom Hole Pressure Relationship

This article will show you about bottom hole pressure relationship because this concept is very important for well control concept. The bottom hole pressure is a summation of all the pressure acting on the bottom hole.

Bottom Hole Pressure (BHP) = Surface Pressure (SP) + Hydrostatic Pressure (HP)

The image below demonstrates the relationship of bottom hole pressure.

Note: BHP created by hydrostatic column of drilling fluid is the primary well control in drilling.

Looking more into details,

If BHP is more than FP (formation pressure), this situation is called “Overbalance”.

If BHP is equal to FP (formation pressure), this situation is called “Balance”.

If BHP is less than FP (formation pressure), this situation is called “Underbalance”.

For more understanding, please follow this example below it demonstrates the relationship of BHP, SP and HP.

Bottom Hole Pressure (BHP) = Surface Pressure (SP) + Hydrostatic Pressure (HP)

Bottom Hole Pressure Relationship 2

We assume that formation pressure is normal pressure gradient of water (0.465 psi/ft) so formation pressure at 8000’ TVD = 8000 ft x 0.465 psi/ft = 3720 psi. Click here to learn how to calculate hydrostatic pressure in oilfield.

The first case: Hydrostatic column is water which is equal to formation pressure gradient so SP is equal to 0 psi

The second case: BHP is still be water gradient but fluid column is oil (0.35 psi/ft) which is lower density than water gradient (0.465 psi/ft). Therefore, in order to balance BHP, we need Surface Pressure (SP) of 920 psi (SP = 3720 – (0.35 x 8000)).

The third case: BHP is still be water gradient but fluid column is gas (0.1 psi/ft) which is even lower density than water gradient (0.465 psi/ft). Therefore, in order to balance BHP, we need Surface Pressure (SP) of 2,920 psi (SP = 3720 – (0.1 x 8000)).

According to the example, Surface Pressure (SP) will compensate the lack of hydrostatic pressure (HP) in order to balance formation pressure (FP).

References

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.

What is Tertiary Well Control?

Can you imagine if primary and secondary well control are failed? Well is flowing all the time so how can we deal with this situation? For this situation, you must use Tertiary Well Control.

Tertiary Well Control is specific method used to control well in case of failure of primary and secondary well control. These following examples are tertiary well control:

    • Drill relief wells to hit adjacent well that is flowing and kill the well with heavy mud.

BP Macondo Well – Relief Wells

    • Dynamic kill by rapidly pumping of heavy mud to control well with Equivalent Circulating Density (ECD)
    • Pump barite or gunk to plug wellbore to stop flowing
    • Pump cement to plug wellbore

References

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.

What is Secondary Well Control?

Referring to the previous section, primary well control is hydrostatic pressure bore that prevents reservoir influx while performing drilling operations (drilling, tripping, running casing/completion, etc). When primary well control is failed, it causes kick (wellbore influx) coming into a wellbore. Therefore, this situation needs special equipment which is called “Blow Out Preventer” or BOP to control kick.

BOP2

Blow Out Preventer

We can call that “Blow Out Preventer” or BOP is Secondary Well Control. Please also remember that BOP must be used with specific procedures to control kick such as driller method, wait and weight, lubricate and bleed and bull heading. Without well control practices for using BOP’s, it will just be only heavy equipment on the rig.

There are several types of “Blow Out Preventer” (BOP) which have different applications. we will talk about BOP categories later.

References

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.

What is Primary Well Control?

Primary Well Control is hydrostatic pressure provided by drilling fluid more than formation pressure but less than fracture gradient while drilling. If hydrostatic pressure is less than reservoir pressure, reservoir fluid may influx into wellbore. This situation is called “Loss Primary Well Control”.

Not only is hydrostatic pressure more than formation pressure, but also hydrostatic pressure must not exceed fracture gradient. If mud in hole is too heavy, it will cause a broken wellbore, you will face with loss circulation problem (may be partially lost or total lost circulation). When fluid is losing into formation, mud level in well bore will be decreased that will result in reducing hydrostatic pressure. For the worst case scenario, you will lose the primary well control and wellbore influx or kick will enter into wellbore.

Typically, slightly overbalance of hydrostatic pressure over reservoir pressure is normally desired. You must keep in mind about the basic of maintaining primary well control that you must maintain hole with drilling fluid that will be heavy enough to overbalance formation pressure but not fracture formations.

References

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.

Accumulator Capacity – Usable Volume per Bottle Calculation for Subsea BOP

For subsea applications, hydrostatic pressure exerted by the hydraulic fluid must be accounted for calculation.

th_277868

In this case, we assume water depth at 1500 ft, therefore hydrostatic pressure exerted by hydraulic fluid (hydraulic fluid pressure gradient = 0.445 psi/ft) = 0.445×1500 = 668 psi. Besides of that, the concept for calculation is as same as surface accumulator. So please take a look about how to calculate usable volume per bottle as following steps.

Step 1 Adjust all pressures for the hydrostatic pressure of the hydraulic fluid:

Pre-charge pressure = 1000 psi + 668 psi = 1668 psi

Minimum system pressure = 1200 psi + 668 psi = 1868 psi

Operating pressure = 3000 psi + 668 psi = 3668 psi

Step 2 Determine hydraulic fluid required to increase pressure from pre-charge pressure to minimum system pressure:

Boyle’s Law for ideal gase: P1 V1 = P2 V2

1668 psi x 10 = 1868 x V2

16,680 ÷1,868 = V2

V2 = 8.93 gal

It means that N2 will be compressed from 10 gal to 8.93 gal in order to reach minimum operating pressure. Therefore, 1.07 gal (10.0 – 8.93 = 1.07 gal) of hydraulic fluid is used for compressing to minimum system pressure.

Step 3 Determine hydraulic required increasing pressure from pre-charge to operating pressure:

P1 V1 = P2 V2

1668 psi x 10 gal = 3668 psi x V2

16,680 ÷ 3668 = V2

V2 = 4.55 gal

It means that N2 will be compressed from 10 gal to 4.55 gal in order to reach operating pressure. Therefore, 5.45 gal (10.0 – 4.55 = 5.45 gal) of hydraulic fluid is used for compressing to operating pressure.

Step 4 Determine usable fluid volume per bottle:

Usable volume per bottle = Total hydraulic fluid/bottle – Dead hydraulic fluid/bottle

Usable volume per bottle = 5.45 – 1.07

Usable volume per bottle = 4.38 gallons

Reference book: Well Control Books

Drilling Formula Book Formulas and Calculations for Drilling, Production and Workover, Second Edition