Every well spudded today is a potential "blowout". Drilling engineers take the first step toward controlling the well during the planning procedure by selecting adequate drilling equipment and determining proper casing points and hole sizes. But has our well capping techniques and procedures kept pace with our industries' growth? So the question arises - "Who can help you if your well blows out?"

The operator must first look inward for the answer to the question. The proper planning of well programs along with the properly trained personnel will eliminate many risks. The establishment of a contingency plan which includes the design of the location to names and phone numbers of pertinent personnel, service and equipment, will help bring a speedy solution to a catastrophe.

The local contractor will be the first company involved in assisting the operator before and after a blowout. The proper planning of wells should begin with the building of the location. The location should be built such that prevailing winds blow across the rig toward the reserve pit. The design of the location should also consider the possibility of moving heavy equipment around to drag the rig backwards off the location. This will be done in case of a blowout. Any obstructions that hinder this operation will hinder bringing the well under control. Whenever possible it is best not to crowd the tack of the rig. Placement of tanks, centrifuges, mud mixing motors, trip tanks, etc., should be consistent with maintaining their efficiency, but should not be crowded between mud tanks and the rig. The idea of circulating cuttings to the logging trailer is not prudent especially in H2S regions. The mud loggers trailer should also be located at least 125′ away from the drilling rig.

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