All under control

well control deepwater horizonThe Deepwater Horizon tragedy was triggered by a blow out at the subsea Macondon well, leaving 11 people dead and more injured, and causing a huge oil slick across the whole area.Africa's upstream industry has blossomed in recent decades, a feat only possible where there is a strong safety track record

Safety and accident prevention remain the highest priorities the world over for all energy industry players, whether in Africa or Asia, or anywhere else. It illustrates the critical importance of well control activities wherever drilling is taking place, onshore or offshore.

Indeed, well control is integral in the prevention of blow outs, perhaps the most deadly and destructive of potential disasters facing oil drillers in the field. The Deepwater Horizon tragedy in the US Gulf of Mexico in 2010 was triggered by a blow out at the subsea Macondo well, leaving 11 people dead and more injured, and causing a huge oil slick across the whole area.

Trawling through the history books, Africa has had its share of blowouts too, albeit with a slightly lower profile. These include the Adriatic IV jack-up rig and Temsah gas platform off the Egyptian coast in 2004, and, even further back, the Funiwa-5 well which led to more pollution in Nigeria’s Niger Delta back in 1980.

At its heart, good well control means proper training and understanding to prevent any of this from happening.

Leading training providers like the International Well Control Forum (IWCF), Intertek, and the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) - which recently re-defined its well control training programme, WellSharp - and others, collectively offer a whole suite of well control education modules to the industry, incorporating both highly practical and theoretical components.

The rest of this article can be found on page 36 in the latest issue of Oil Review Africa

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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