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Abstract

This document describes a detailed inspection procedure used to detect faulty BOP stacks and control systems. It includes a comprehensive visual inspection and a hydraulic operator test procedure, both of which enhance a routine pressure test.

The goal of the authors is to provide a field guide to assist wellsite personnel in performing thorough BOP equipment inspections. The ultimate goal is to ensure the BOP stack and control systems are in proper working condition.

Introduction

Drilling a well using faulty BOP equipment can prove to be hazardous and costly. Although pressure tests are routinely performed and excepted as a sufficient check, damaged components or pending failures often go undetected. Equipment deterioration can result in less than desired BOP performance, leading to injury or death, loss of equipment and environmental disruption. A study indicates one in five blowouts is a direct result of BOP equipment malfunction or failure.

A successful pressure test, when complimented by a comprehensive visual inspection and hydraulic operator test, can greatly enhance the probability of the BOP equipment performing as its design intended. Several documents outlining pressure testing techniques have been published. This document details the procedures required to complete a visual inspection and hydraulic operator test.

Equipment addressed in the visual inspection includes the annular and ram preventers, chokes and valves, and the accumulator unit. A hydraulic operator test sequence is presented for the annular and ram preventers, which presented for the annular and ram preventers, which assesses the pressure integrity of their operating chambers and associated seals. The possible leak paths are also noted.

The intent of this document is to assist wellsite personnel in performing thorough surface BOP equipment inspections. performing thorough surface BOP equipment inspections. These procedures can be implemented on location or prior to transporting the BOPs to the wellsite. Any equipment deficiencies, noted and corrected prior to nipple-up activities, can have a positive impact on the operation's "repair downtime".

A) - Visual Inspection of the Annular Preventer

For many well control situations, the initial attempt to halt fluid flow is made by closing the annular preventer. The design of the annular enables it to seal around differing pipe and tool diameters. (The various annular components pipe and tool diameters. (The various annular components discussed in this section are illustrated in Fig. 1). Before starting the visual inspection, ensure the control hoses from the accumulator are isolated.

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