Shell embarked on a project to improve and optimize BOP and other pressure testing operations on drilling rigs and other types of units executing completion, work-over and abandonment operations, in 2013.
A significant improvement in Process and Personal Safety has been achieved while also achieving a significant improvement in BOP testing times by applying existing automation technologies (50% and greater reductions have been achieved).
This presentation will explain (1) the objectives of the project, (2) what technologies were utilized and how they were deployed, (3) performance improvement results achieved to date, and (4) how these technologies/results can be replicated by other.
The scope of this automated BOP testing project touches on: Pressure test planning, data collation, interpretation of pressure testing data, data exchange, modeling and data analysis, pumping equipment, valve position identification, value actuation, leak detection, and reporting. These technologies have been retrofitted, trialed and deployed on both onshore and offshore drilling rigs.
This project goes far beyond simply replacing a circular pressure chart recorder with a digital pressure recorder. It includes the application of automation technologies and analytics to the BOP testing processes. To the best of our knowledge, and judging the 8 patents that have been granted to date, and 13 more patents applications, this project has a high degree of novelty. Particularly exciting was that a constant pressure variable volume pressure testing method using a linear press pump was trialed and found to be a superior to the conventional pressure decay leak testing (psi/min) method.
(Shell doesn’t keep safety technologies proprietary. Shell has asked me to raise awareness of the project in the industry, I have Shell's permission to present.)