Blowout Preventers

Definition - What does Blowout Preventers mean?

Blowout Preventers, abbreviated as BOP, are valves that are used to monitor, control and seal oil and gas wells. They act as specialized valves whose primary role is to control the sudden surge of pressure inside the well. They restrict the flow of hydrocarbons by extending toward the center of a wellbore and allow the flow by retracting outwards. They prevent a back pressure kick, which causes the blowout, and ensure there is no damage to the cost-intensive equipment, property and the environment.

Petropedia explains Blowout Preventers

When the pressure inside a wellbore rises to a great extent and is not controlled in a proper and timely manner, it can cause life threatening accidents to people working at the production site, as well as damages to the environment and oil and gas industrial infrastructure. To avoid such situations, blowout preventers (BOP) are installed at the opening, on top of the well. This is a set of valves that can be either manually or motor controlled in order to control the back pressure kick. The BOP is a part of Christmas tree on top of the well.

With the help of this specialized valve, an oil or gas well can be sealed and controlled any time. There can be two types of BOP's, namely:

  • RAM Blowout Preventer
  • Annular Blowout Preventer

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