Abstract

The oil and gas industry involves various high-risk operations. In conventional oil and gas operations, pressure pumping is performed during the complete life cycle of the well. Normally, a cement-pump unit (CPU) is used to perform services such as cementing, blowout preventer (BOP) testing, formation integrity tests, and more. Operating a conventional cement unit requires the cement-unit operator to be directly over pumps and treating lines that contain pressurized fluid. During pumping operations, especially BOP testing, the pressures can get as high as 15,000 psi. Any leak or rupture in the lines at this pressure presents hazardous situation in the cement room.

As per the hazard-analysis risk-control (HARC) analysis, two factors are required to have an incident. One is "likelihood" and the other is "severity" of that risk. At present, the majority of the current industry preventive measures aim at reducing the likelihood of a risk. The remote-controlled cement-pump unit (RCCPU) sets a new benchmark in safety standards by removing the likelihood factor, thus eliminating the risks pertaining to pressure pumping. With this engineered innovation, the pump unit is in a safe room, and the cementer is in a separate control room with advanced computer systems to operate the unit. This unit isolates the cementer from risks such as pressure, noise, height, adverse climate, and more. The automated control of the unit and the cement mixing system helps in achieving a high service quality (SQ). The innovative systems and the advanced engineering that the RCCPU uses to isolate the risks from the personnel change the paradigms of pressure pumping. While the current technology still requires the RCCPU operator to be onboard the vessel, however, work is in progress to operate the RCCPU from onshore facility.

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