Evaluation of Early Kick Detection Systems
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The consequence of inadequate kick detection methods can be catastrophic, last seen in the Macondo blowout in April 2010 where people were killed and large amount of oil were spread across the Gulf of Mexico. Although the last major accident in Norway was a gas blowout on West Vanguard in 1985, an improvement of the existing methods combined with a development of new kick detection methods is necessary as the drilling industry moves into harsher environments. Conventional methods rely on manual observation of the active pit volume and the mud level in the flow line using a flow paddle. A large number of blow outs are caused by human errors, and for this reason suppliers are developing new kick detection systems based on more accurate measurements of the return flow and intelligent algorithms.This thesis evaluates early kick detection systems developed by six different suppliers. The main focus has been on comparing the performance of the systems regarding accuracy, response time, how easy the installation and use of the system is, and what kind of technique is used to detect the kick. All the systems presented in this thesis shows great improvement in accuracy and response time compared to conventional kick detection methods. The new early kick detection systems are using different methods to detect kicks; standpipe pressure, annular discharge pressure, well pressure measurements by the use of wired drill pipes, delta-flow comparison, and real-time simulations.