Oil Well Blowout – 101 and Its Management

18th July 2020

A blowout is the uncontrolled release of crude oil and natural gas from an oil well or gas well after pressure control systems have failed. An accidental spark can lead to catastrophic oil & gas fire. It can cause loss of millions of barrels of crude oil and billion standard cubic meters of gas combined with severe ecological damage and also to the life and property.

Control of oil and gas well fire is the ultimate test for a fire fighter and oil field experts. It may take from few days to few months to control such disastrous situation causing enormous economic losses and have a severe impact on moral of employees and stakeholders besides sufferings to the neighboring population. Blowout incidents though very seldom in E&P (Exploration and Production) industry but do take place in both on shore and off shore operations.

The presentation will deal with causes of blowout during drilling and workover operations, what are the inbuilt control facilities, emergency control technique and the disaster management plan that need to be activated when blowout takes place with or without fire situation.

Blowout of oil and gas well is a unique incident only known to E&P operating companies and there are very few people available in the world who does the dare devil act of controlling such situation. “It is the only operation where the patient (the well) is killed (blowout brought under control) and operation is considered successful”