Illegal oil bunkering, a euphemism for oil theft, has become a wide spread practice in the Niger Delta. Since these activities are not accompanied by the usual safety measures for oil production, dramatic accidents happen with consequences such as the loss of many lives and full-scale blowouts. A typical problem encountered in combating these blowouts is that no data are available on pressures, rates and fluids in the well prior to the blowout. Likewise records on well operations leading to the event are obviously missing. Hence the design of the kill will have to be based on historic data, on site observations and assumptions, which have to cover every possible scenario.

This case history describes how a blowout caused by illegal oil bunkering was killed successfully within the boundary condition of minimizing the impact of the blowout and the kill on the sensitive environment. The design of the kill, based on limited data and numerical simulations to determine the approach with the highest probability of success, planning and execution of the kill job will be discussed.

A post-kill analysis demonstrates that the design calculations accurately predicted the actual progress of the kill job. This increases confidence in these calculations for future application in emergency situations.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.