The independent equipment supply company Safe Influx has been awarded funding from Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) to develop field testing of its Automated Well Control technology, which fully automates influx detection and shut-in sequences during drilling operations.
This game-changing technology is designed to reduce human factors element in well control and minimise the risks of blowouts by providing efficient solutions and faster shut-in times than conventional human interface methods.
The system’s algorithms that control the equipment went through extensive testing to validate the concept by using real well data programmed into drilling simulators.
This funding will help Safe Influx take a further step towards a field trial, planned to start in the second week of October 2019. With the partnership with the OGTC, Safe Influx aims to complete the milestone of demonstrating the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) against a traditional land rig in Bridge of Don, in Aberdeen, UK.
The MVP is designed to detect and shut it an influx whilst drilling. Design work is underway to accommodate a number of additional modules in the future.
The field trial is supported by Finesse Control Systems, an engineering company responsible for managing the electrical and pneumatic controls, and by a major drilling contractor, who is providing assurance on the controls engineering and providing management oversight of the field trial and results.
Bryan Atchison, Co-founder and Managing Director of Safe Influx, said: “We are pleased to work with OGTC to deliver their goal on improving the safety and efficiency of the Oil and Gas industry”.
“This partnership will help to consolidate our technology and demonstrate that by using Automated Well Control technology to detect and react to a kick, the risks to well control and a potential blowout can be dramatically reduced”, he added.
Malcolm Banks, Well Construction Solution Centre Manager at the OGTC, commented: “The OGTC is pleased to support Safe Influx in the development and testing of their automated well control technology. This project is supported by industry partners and aligned with the Wells Solution Centre Roadmap focus area of ‘flawless delivery’, specifically the theme of decision-making. This technology could represent a further step towards automation of well operations and has the potential to enhance real-time decision-making in critical well control situations.”
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