Definition - What does Pressure Control mean?
Pressure Control is the act of restraining hydrocarbon fluids from entering into a wellbore unexpectedly due to an increase in pressure surge or kick. If the pressure is not controlled in a well, it can cause severe damage to the environment, property and can also lead to loss of human life. In order to control the pressure in a wellbore, blowout preventers are installed at the surface.
Petropedia explains Pressure Control
A blowout preventer plays an important role in controlling the sudden surge in the pressure inside a wellbore. Blowout Preventers (BOPs) are considered as one of the most important and critical equipment on a drilling rig as they are helpful in controlling the back pressure kick inside the wellbore. They are treated as a secondary option for controlling the back pressure kick in the wellbore. The primary option for controlling the back pressure kick is the weight of the mud itself while drilling a well.
In a well, when the weight of the mud becomes lower than the pressure of the formation fluids, the primary control is lost thereby allowing the entry of the formation fluids into the wellbore. If the fluids entering into the wellbore are not controlled and circulated out, they lead to the creation of tremendous amount of pressure that is experienced as a back pressure kick at the wellhead reacting as a “blowout” at the surface. This can cause a severe damage to the environment, property as well as loss of human life. Thus, BOP’s acts as secondary pressure control devices that control this back pressure kick.
They operate in a similar way as a valve does, i.e., open and close to release the pressure and circulate extra fluid through the outlet port. They work on the principle of hydraulic fluid under pressure using accumulator.