Accumulator Capacity – Usable Volume per Bottle Calculation (Surface Stack)

Accumulator (Koomey) is a unit used to hydraulically operate Rams BOP, Annular BOP, HCR and some hydraulic equipment. There are several of high pressure cylinders that store gas (in bladders) and hydraulic fluid or water under pressure for hydraulic activated systems. The primary purpose of this unit is to supply hydraulic power to the BOP stack in order to close/open BOP stack for both normal operational and emergency situation. Stored hydraulic in the system can provide hydraulic power to close BOP’s in well control operation, therefore, kick volume will be minimize. Accumulators should have sufficient volume to close/open all preventers and accumulator pressure must be maintained all time.


This post you will learn how to calculate usable volume per bottle by applying Boyle’s gas law:

Use following information as guideline for calculation:

Volume per bottle = 10 gal

Pre-charge pressure = 1000 psi

Operating pressure = 3000 psi

Minimum system pressure = 1200 psi

Pressure gradient of hydraulic fluid = 0.445 psi/ft

For surface application

Step 1 Determine hydraulic fluid required to increase pressure from pre-charge pressure to minimum:

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

P1 V1 = P2 V2

1000 psi x 10 gal = 1200 psi x V2

10,000 ÷ 1200 = V2

V2 = 8.3 gal

It means that N2 will be compressed from 10 gal to 8.3 gal in order to reach minimum operating pressure. Therefore, 1.7 gal (10.0 – 8.3 = 1.7 gal) of hydraulic fluid is used for compressing to minimum system pressure.

Step 2 Determine hydraulic required increasing pressure from pre-charge to operating pressure:

P1 V1 = P2 V2

1000 psi x 10 gals = 3000 psi x V2

10,000 ÷3000 = V2

V2= 3.3 gal

It means that N2 will be compressed from 10 gal to 3.3 gal. Therefore, 6.7 gal (10.0 – 3.3 = 6.7 gal) of hydraulic fluid is used for compressing to operating pressure.

Step 3 Determine usable fluid volume per bottle:

Usable volume per bottle = Hydraulic used to compress fluid to operating pressure – hydraulic volume used to compress fluid to minimum pressure

Usable volume per bottle = 6.7 – 1.7

Usable volume per bottle = 5.0 gallons

Reference book: Well Control Books
Drilling Formula Book Formulas and Calculations for Drilling, Production and Workover, Second Edition

West Atlas re-boarded – Photos Included


Latest information about West Atlas and please find the media release from PTTEP t from the link below. You will see the photos of West Atlas after well control situation burnt the rig and the platform in Timor sea.

From “Upstream Online” 23/11/09.

Crew Boards Crippled Montara Platform

A three-man team has boarded the Montara wellhead platform for the first time since a blowout at the Timor Sea installation on 21 August.

The crew, from Alert Well Control, are evaluating the damage to the Seadrill-owned jack-up West Atlas and the platform, PTTEP said.

The evaluation will also include a safety assessment as PTTEP considers how best to plug and fully secure the Montara H1 well.

PTTEP said the wellhead platform and blown-out H1 well remain stable after the leaking bore was successfully killed on 3 November.

Company director Jose Martins said a preliminary assessment of the rig shows extensive damage to equipment from a fire which erupted on the wellhead platform on 1 November.

He said the reboarding team were surveying the structural integrity of the West Atlas’ cantilever which buckled in the platform fire.

“PTTEP will ensure everything possible has been done to assess the risks before undertaking the plugging operation. The safety of personnel remains our first priority,” Martins added.

PTTEP Australia Successfully killed the leaking well

This Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009, image provided by PTTEP Australasia shows the West Atlas oil rig after a fire on it was put out 150 miles (250 kilometers) off Australia’s northwest coast. The oil rig that had been leaking into the Timor Sea for 10 weeks was plugged Tuesday, and a massive fire blazing aboard the structure was largely extinguished.

(AP Photo/PTTEP Australasia)

PTTEP Australasia today confirmed it had killed the leaking well and stopped the main fire at the Montara well head platform and surrounding the West Atlas drilling rig in the Timor Sea. As reported earlier, the well was declared shut down or killed at approximately 1715 (CST) today. Some material on the topside of the West Atlas rig might still be on fire but It is expected to burn out as the fuel source runs out.

Well control experts onboard the nearby West Triton rig pumped approximately 3,400 barrels of heavy mud plus l000 barrels of brine down the relief well which had successfully intercepted the leaking well on Sunday morning. The well will now continue to be monitored for the next 24 to 48 hours to ensure that it remains stable.

The operation to pump the heavy mud began at 1440 (CST). The main fire at the well head platform was reported out at 1548 (CST). A safety case revision will now be presented to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA) to reboard the Montara well head platform to assess the level of damage and to plan for the next phases of the operation.

The company will closely monitor the well head platform and the West Atlas rig and will consider spraying the well head platform with seawater in an effort to help cool ft before any re-boarding attempt is made.

Once safety criteria have been satisfied, specialist crew from international oil and gas well control engineers ALERT Well Control will reboard the well head platform to assess the damage and then determine the best strategy to plug the I-Il well

This operation has been made more difficult after the cantilever portion of the West Atlas rig buckled during the fire and has come to rest on top of the well head platform. Once the well head platform has been secured, specialist personnel from the owners of the West Atlas drill rig, Atlas Drilling (S) Pte Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Seadrill Limited), may attempt to reboard the West Atlas to assess the damage caused by the fire. Any questions relating to the damage to the West Atlas rig should be directed to Seadrill Limited.

PTTEP Australasia Director and Chief Financial Officer Jos? Martins said the company?s priority had always been to kill the leaking well and subsequently stop the fire in the safest and quickest manner.

“We are relieved and thankful that we have killed the well and stopped the main fire. We still have a lot more work to do and our priority is now to determine the best method of plugging the Ml well bores” Mr Martins said.

“We do not under estimate the significantly increased technical complexity, logistical challenges and hazards of the work now required in the wake of the damage caused by the fire to the well head platform and the West Atlas rig.”

“We will continue to work closely with AMSA to assist in the oil spill clean-up operations and with DEWI-IA In continuing to roll out what is likely to be the largest industry environmental monitoring program ever seen in Australia.”

“PTTEP remains committed to fully funding the spill cleanup and environmental monitoring programs being undertaken by the lead Federal government.”

“As we also stated yesterday, the company will fully co-operate with the Federal Government inquiry which has been foreshadowed by Resources and Energy” Minister Martin Ferguson.

In reaching this critical milestone, Mr. Martins also thanked more than 300 personnel which the company has had deployed offshore in the Timor Sea at Trustcott air base in Western Australia far north Kimberley, in Darwin during the operation, plus the team in PTTEP’s Perth office

“Our people and our contractors have worked tirelessly to bring the leaking well and the fire under control we sincerely thank them and their families for all of their efforts and c commitment during this intense operation. ?Our Job Is not over and we look forward to their continued support and commitment”


Seadrill West Atlas Jack Up Caught Fire

After several attempts for securing well that was blowing out for weeks, the fighting to secure the rig and the well was over. Finally, the Seadrill West Altas Jackup ,contracted by PTTEP Australasia, and Montara Wellhead Platform caught fire on 1st November 2009. It’s was so sad news for oilfield.

Read more discussion regarding this topic on drillerboard:

Gas blowing out over the Montara Wellhead Platform and there was oil spill over the sea.

Aerial photo of the Montara offshore oil platform and West Atlas mobile drilling rig. On August 21, 2009, a well on the platform blew out as a new well was being drilled, and both the rig and the platform were imediately evacuated. Oil and gas condensate are spewing uncontrolled into the Timor Sea off Western Australia, and will continue to do so for at least 7-8 weeks until a new rig can be brought into the vicinity to drill a relief well. Photo by Chris Twomey, courtesy of WA Today. (Photo below)

Aerial photo of the Montara offshore oil platform and West Atlas mobile drilling rig. On August 21, 2009, a well on the platform blew out as a new well was being drilled, and both the rig and the platform were imediately evacuated. Oil and gas condensate are spewing uncontrolled into the Timor Sea off Western Australia, and will continue to do so for at least 7-8 weeks until a new rig can be brought into the vicinity to drill a relief well. Photo by Chris Twomey / Australian Greens, courtesy of WA Today. (Photo below)

West Atlas Jack Up

Oil spill from Montara Platform

Aerial photo of oil slicks emanating from the Montara platform in the Timor Sea off Western Australia. Photo courtesy of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. (Photo below)

West Atlas Jack Up




PTTEP attempted several times to a drill relief well in order to stop leaking. This photo, I got from the board, showed the rig 2 km away attempting to drill to kill the blowing well. Picture: PTTEP (Photo below)


Seadrill West Atlas Jack-up Caught Fire on 1st Nov 2009.
Photo of the Montara oil platform and attached West Atlas jackup drilling rig (left). Out-of-control well on the platform ignited during attempt to pump mud into the well to “kill” it. Photograph by PTTEP. Source (Australian Broadcasting Corporation News): (Photo below)


Montara Oil Platform Fire - November 1, 2009

Montara Oil Platform Fire - November 1, 2009

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How to Predict Formation Pressure Prior to Drilling

Formation pressure can be predicted from 3 information sources prior to drilling as follows;

1. Seismic Data

Seismic is the way to predict formation types by sending sound waves that penetrate into subsurface structure. Then, sound waves reflected back from formation are recorded as raw data. Geologists are able to predict geological structures and potential pressured zoned by interpreting the sound waves. With current 3D seismic modeling, the pressured zones are accurately predicted.

2. Geological Data

Geological information demonstrates condition that possibly causes abnormal pressure zones. The subsurface structures associated with abnormal pressure characteristics are anticlines, charged zones, depleted zones, faults, massive shale and Salt formations.

Anticlines: Anticlines is the geological structure that looks like a dome. Anticlines with cap rock on top are good geological structure because hydrocarbon can possibly trapped below it. While drilling into top structure of anticlines, abnormal pressured zones are expected.

Charged Zones: Charged zones are shallow formations that have pressure connectivity from abnormal pressure zones below. Because of upward movement of reservoir fluid from deeper zones, charged zones are normally abnormal pressure. Charge zones can occur by nature or man-made. Currently, new geophysical methodologies can be applied for find where the charged zones are prior to drilling.

Depleted Zones: Depleted zones are formations that have less pressure than original formation pressure because some formation fluid has been produced. Using historical data in conjunction with geological techniques can determine where the possibly depleted zones are.

Faults: Because each fault block may has different pressure gradient, while drilling across a fault, drilling problem associated with pressure such as well control problem or lost circulation may possibly happen.

Massive Shale: Shale is non permeable formation therefore it restricts movement of formation fluid. When a lot of overburden formation layers are accumulated over massive shale, shale is compacted and reservoir fluid naturally tries to come out from the pore space. However, shale is impermeable and it does not allowed pore fluid to come out therefore formation pressure caused by formation fluid becomes over pressured.

Salt Formations: There are several parts of the world where pure and thick layers of salt are present. Typically, salt formations are laterally and upwards forced causing salt domes. Because salt is impermeable, it does not allow formation fluid pass through it; therefore, formations below a salt formation are normally abnormal pressure.

3. Historical Data

The historical data from adjacent area is good information for prediction formation pressure. Historical information can be obtained from formation pressure, mud logging reports, drilling reports, drilling fluid reports, Logging While Drilling (LWD), Pressure While Drilling (PWD), etc.
Reference book: Well Control Books