Frequently Asked Questions.
Browse our FAQ’s below.
The Safe Influx Automated Well Control unit is an aid for the driller. The system identifies a kick, takes control of the necessary equipment to space out, stop drilling, and shut the well in.
How much faster is the Safe Influx Automated Well Control system at shutting in an influx compared to the current manual method?
Our system sees a typical shut-in time which is five times faster than a human can achieve. In some instances, this could be even faster.
If the BOP is deployed, the current system works on every rig and every well around the world.
The system features dual redundancy and is built with the highest-grade materials and components. Both the hardware and software have undergone rigorous FMEA and HAZOP analysis and testing with Lloyd’s Register. The system recently passed a reliability milestone in June 2020 with over 12,000 hours runtime and over 650 automated shut-in sequences functioned with zero alarms or issues.
No, it is not an EKDS. The Safe Influx system detects a kick, then automatically takes control of the rig to safely shut-in the well reducing the influx size whereas EKDS does not take corrective automated actions. EKDS does not address the largest contributor to blowouts and serious well control incidents: human factors. Safe Influx does.The Automated Well Control system not only detects the influx, but more importantly, removes the human factors elements by:
- Continuously monitoring, without distractions. A dedicated system
- Makes the decisions from pre-agreed criteria without distractions or influence
- Takes control of the rig to space out, stop equipment and close the well in using the pre-selected BOP
The system can be customised to suit the customers well requirements. The sensitivity and verification indicators can be adjusted to suit particular well requirements.
Why are you only using the flowpaddle (or Coriollis meter) as the kick indicator? -there are many more.
The primary indicator of a kick is additional flow rate down the flowline. Our first offering to the industry is designed for this. Future software packages will cover all the other primary and secondary indicators.
We have run sessions with experienced Drillers from Cyber and Conventional rigs with very positive feedback. They see this technology as an aid to help them during an influx and would embrace the technology if installed on their rigs.
It is an Automation system. Safe Influx Automated Well Control system is capable of being integrated into a fully SIL 2 compliant Automatic Safety System, but globally, rig and well control equipment does not (currently) meet that standard, and thus without major upgrades to existing equipment the overall system could not be assessed as a Safety System at this time. The Driller still has full access to his existing BOP manual safety controls. The Automated Well Control system simply mimics his decision-making logic to get to the point of activating the existing safety system earlier and more reliably than a human can.
Safe Influx is leading the development of automated well control, which has several benefits for the client:
- Well control assurance. A predictable, reliable and perfect response every time
- Cheaper wells because every kick is the minimum volume
- Practically eliminating the major accident hazard of blowouts
- Potential to reduce well costs by 20% with changes to kick tolerances policy
- Improved reputation
- Secure Licence to Operate
Safe Influx is the only commercial provider of Automated Well Control for open or closed circuit drilling (MPD). Safe Influx now has a global agreement with Weatherford to provide an automated shut in capability for MPD operations.
The UK patent has been granted and the US and International patent applications are in progress. The UK patent secures key elements of Automated Well Control technology, including a wide range of additional modules which broaden and enhance the current capability.
Yes. Tailored as required, we can design a semi-automated system which could be set up according to the operators’ requirements. In the semi-automated mode, the system provides the driller with decision and action options, where he could, for instance, confirm and activate a shut-in command which will initiate an automated sequence.
Testing and Certification
Yes. A field trial was carried out on a Conventional rig in the UK in October 2019.
Yes. The system has been certified by Lloyds Register and carries a Technology Certification for both Cyber and Conventional rigs.
No. This is emerging technology, so API have not had the opportunity to create a monogram. Safe Influx plan to write the monogram with API within the next two years. It was a number of years after Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) was in use by industry before API published a standard for MPD.
One, the Driller. No new/additional personnel are required.
The Human Machine Interface (HMI) user experience was developed with experienced Drillers from Cyber and Conventional rigs using HMI design standards. Drillers stated it is easy to use and they would welcome and adopt this technology in the field.
Can the Driller turn the system off if they know it is not a proper influx that has caused the alarm?
Yes. The Driller has the power of veto and can intervene at any moment.
Responsibility and Liability
The Driller retains responsibility for well control. The Safe Influx system is a tool for them to use.
The issue of liability is the same as all other well control equipment suppliers. Safe Influx will provide assurance on the quality and build of the system and its software. The rig owners must assure themselves that the system works as intended and then takes liability for operation of the system.
Installation and Pricing
We have a rental, day rate model.
Yes. The Safe Influx system comprises of a small control unit located in either the LI room or SCR room and a zone 1 or zone 2 human machine interface for the Driller depending on the rig type. The system also connects to the rig’s existing sensor package and rig equipment. Installation and commissioning time is around two days, almost all of which is off-line. With careful planning, it can all be done offline.
In the News
(see all of our news)
A newly published paper authored by our Managing Director, Bryan Atchison, is now available on ScienceDirect website. In his paper, Bryan summarises the challenges of well control and the role of human factors in well control incidents. He also provides an overview of...
Busy week in Galveston. Our Managing Director, Bryan Atchison was delighted to participate in a valuable session yesterday at the IADC/SPE International Drilling Conference & Exhibition. Bryan presented a paper he co-authored with Varun Sarpangal, from Marex, and...
Safe Influx Automated Well Control has been featured in the January issue of World Oil magazine in an article about automated systems in well operations. Read in full here.