The fast paced and hydrostatic-free nature of air drilling presents unique problems when blowouts are encountered. Well control practices for air drilling lag considerably behind techniques applied for fluid drilling. The formation at the surface casing shoe is commonly the weak link during killing operations and any well control plan must protect against shoe breakdown. The technique described below is based on monitoring pressures at the choke manifold to keep pressures at the shoe below breakdown pressure. In the field, air drilled well control requires rugged, easy to maintain equipment and a simple well control plan.

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