Relief well system could cut costs of blowout measures

Add Energy and Trendsetter Engineering have developed the relief well injection spool.
Add Energy and Trendsetter Engineering have developed the relief well injection spool. (Photo courtesy Add Energy)

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UKAdd Energy and Trendsetter Engineering have developed the relief well injection spool (RWIS).

This is designed to enable pumping of up to 200 bbl/min of kill mud through a single relief well using multiple vessels as opposed to the traditional approach of multiple relief wells. 

In Norway, where the governing regulatory agency only grants a permit to drill wells that can be killed with a single relief well, the RWIS should facilitate drilling of both shallow and deep prolific reservoirs.

In some cases, the developers claim, it may lead to a cost reduction of around $2 million by dispensing with a casing string to reduce dynamic kill requirements in the event of a blowout.

The RWIS, which would be installed on a relief well prior to intersecting the blowout well, would be positioned between the wellhead and the BOP, effectively serving as a subsea injection manifold providing additional inlets for pumping kill mud.

Each inlet is fitted with dual fail-safe barrier valves to provide the necessary means of pressure containment in the relief well.

During the well kill operation, one or more high-pressure pumping vessels located near the relief well rig will be connected to the RWIS inlets using high-pressure flexible flowlines to provide the additional mud fluid.

The system is designed for rapid transport to any region of the world.

Requests have come in for deployment for wells in Norway and the US. The system is expected to be available by the end of this year.


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