A series of trials using the oil and gas industry’s ‘first’ integrated Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) and Automated Well Control (AWC) system has been completed.
Last year, Safe Influx, a spin-out from Robert Gordon University (RGU), signed a memorandum of understanding with Weatherford after it caught the attention of the US oil services giant.
As part of the deal, Safe Influx agreed to combine its AWC technology, built by Arborath-based Finesse Control Systems, with the Houston-based company’s MPD products and services.
At the time, it was expected that the partnership would generate seven-figure annual revenues for the Aberdeen company, as well as several jobs in the North East.
A number of tests involving the integrated system have now been completed at the Weatherford test bed in Houston, demonstrating its functionality.
The combination of the two systems provides “automated secondary well control,” which will allow drilling and constructing wells with the highest level of efficiency and integrity, Safe Influx said.
As a stand-alone application, Weatherford’s MPD system can sense, control and circulate an inflow within the operational well envelope.
If the parameters are exceeded, a series of real-time signals are then sent to the AWC system, which begins the automatic shutdown sequence.
Bryan Atchison, Managing Director of Safe Influx and former Head of Well Engineering at RGU’s Energy Transition Institute, said:
“The combination of patented Safe Influx technology and Weatherford’s comprehensive MPD product portfolio is a game-changer for the industry.
“We are convinced that this is a reliable tool that has the ability to mitigate risks and improve the efficiency and safety of well operations, avoid loss of life, minimize the impact on the environment, achieve substantial savings and protect the company’s reputation. “
Fraser Dunphy, Managing Director of Finesse Control Systems, said: “It has been great working with Safe Influx and Weatherford on this ambitious and innovative combination of technologies.
“We have been involved in this project since its inception and are delighted to see this integration work on the drill test. The positive results demonstrate the value of combining technology, knowledge and experience to create a cutting-edge solution for the oil and gas industry. “
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