HSE research spanning a period of nearly 10 years has resulted in approximately one hundred projects in the ‘Well engineering and operations’ topic area. About half of these projects have addressed kick development and control. A computer-based model developed for practitioners, has been thoroughly tested and applied to numerous incidents.
Having reached the position where a tool is now commercially available and is used extensively by practitioners, an evaluation of current Industry practice in the area of kick simulation for well design and kick management on the UKCS has been undertaken. The study also addresses the future direction of work in this area.
An Industry wide sample including operating companies, drilling contractors, training providers and relevant associations has been surveyed, augmented with a substantial sample of well engineering professionals.
Broadly, the results of the study suggest that the HSE's work on kick control has made a significant contribution to well design and kick management. The industry indicates that they feel more confident in their ability to predict kick pressures and manage kick incidents as a result of the use of kick simulator software.
Industry views on the needs for future work in the area of kick pressure prediction; kick detection and kick control have been received and form the basis for recommendations arising from the study.