Water Kick and Oil Kick Indications

All of well control articles in this website are based on gas kick assumption. Therefore, all the responses as bottom hole pressure, surface pressure, gas volume, maximum pit gain, etc are influenced by gas expansion and gas migration. In reality, you may face with water influx or oil influx which is quite different than gas influx.


The following indications showing water or oil kick are listed below:

• When the well is shut in, casing pressure will not increase because water and oil don’t migrate.

• When bumping the float, it is quite clear to see where the float is opened in order to obtain shut in drill pipe pressure.

• While circulating influx out of the wellbore, casing pressure will not increase too high because water and oil don’t expand like gas.

Actually, dealing with water kick or oil kick is a lot easier than gas kick because you don’t need to deal with gas migration, and gas expansion. Moreover, surface equipment will not be exposed to high pressure.

To confirm if this kick is water kick, you need to collect mud sample at the bottom and perform mud check. If the influx is water, electrical stability will decrease, viscosity will increase, and oil water ratio will decrease.

On the other hand, if the oil influx is suspected, you should see the following indications from the mud check: oil water ratio will increase, electrical stability may increase, and crude oil sample may be seen in the drilling mud.

For a good well control practice, you should treat all of well control as gas kick because it is the worst case scenario.

Reference book: Well Control Books

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13 Responses to Water Kick and Oil Kick Indications

  1. fahmilafi says:

    correction need to be made…Csg press. will not increase too hi.because {gas!!}and oil donot expand like gas.
    kindly replace {gas!!} w/ water. Thanks


  2. fahmilafi says:

    I appreciate your immediate response to my inquiry.

    thanks alot. f.lafi

  3. Hoss says:

    The other day, we had the same problem… the OWR went down, Viscosity increased because of water contamination, and ES decreased. But after checking everything we figured it was water contamination from the previous cement job or from formation water (salt water)…. Any insight on this topic is very appreciated ??

  4. Hoss says:

    It was a lot of water that the half round below the shakers were half full cause we could not control the amount of water and since the viscosity was too high (because of water contamination in the mud), we could not run the returning mud to the vertical dryer and centrifuge and that’s why we just let it drop into the half round below the shakers… As far as how much water it was, based on the report from the mud engineer, the OWR was 60/40 after water contamination, but I believe it was 80/20 originally.
    By the way, thanks for the amazing website… Do you guys have any kind of calculation about completion (frac job) as well… or any articles… I have learned so much from this website…

  5. Adnan Mustafa says:

    Can you please clarify what is Shut In Casing Pressure(SICP) and Shut In Drillpipe Pressure(SIDP). Which one of them is greater and when?

  6. George Heckler says:


    If you have a float in the string, do a slow pump test until the float opens, this will then be the SIDPP.

  7. Omar says:

    In water influx, I think SIDP is more greater than SICP

  8. Salim says:

    I m student,I want to ask during water kick how viscosity will increase? As I m thinking if we mix more water in our system viscosity should be down.

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