What is a Back Pressure Valve (BPV)?

A Back Pressure Valve (BPV), also known as a tubing plug, serves as a one-way check valve typically placed within a specially machined profile in the tubing hanger or plug bushing. Its primary function is to impede the flow of fluids and gases through the hanger while permitting the pumping of fluid into the tubing string. These valves find application in various well operations such as removing the production tree, facilitating the initial nipple up of the Blowout Preventer (BOP) stack, installing the tree during the nippling down of the BOP stack, and handling heavy lifts over the wellhead.

The installation or removal of BPVs can be carried out with either the tree or BOP stack nipple up on the tubing head. Moreover, they can be installed with or without pressure on the tubing. If the BPV needs to be installed through the tree with pressure on the well, a lubricator is necessary. Wellhead manufacturers offer diverse designs for Back Pressure Valves, which depend on the size and make of the hanger and wellhead. It’s crucial to note that only personnel specifically trained by wellhead manufacturers should undertake the installation and removal of these valves.

There are typically two types of BPVs: type “B” and type “H,” illustrated in the diagram below. Both types fulfill the same function. The choice between type “B” and “H” depends on the tubing hanger models. Some hangers may be equipped with type “B,” while others may require type “H.” Therefore, wellhead manufacturers can provide guidance on which types of tubing hangers are suitable for specific models.




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.


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