Well Control Equipment Inspection

HOSE International recognise that, more often than not during Rig Intake projects, Well Control Equipment can be  the largest project cost item for our clients, in terms schedule when preparing for operations and more importantly the financial & reputational costs when it is not operating.  For these reasons O&G Operators, as the duty holders on operational wells where Well Control Equipment  is in operation, see the necessity of having Independent Third Party (ITP) assurance that  Well Control Equipment is compliant with required standards and operationally Fit for Purpose.

The risks of Well Control Equipment not functioning correctly or being out with compliance for globally recognised standards and regional regulations can be significantly reduced with HOSE International ITP Assurance scopes.

When talk turns to compliance, the O&G Industry broadly abide by:

  • API Standards / Recommended Practices recognised globally.
  • Regional Specific Regulations such as OGUK (UK), NORSOK (Norway) and BSEE Well Control Rule 2019 (USA).

API Standard 53, is under its 5th Edition currently having being issued on December 2018 and is recognised globally as the standard to which BOP System engineering & operating practices are performed to, improving reliability and reducing risks to acceptable levels.  Regional regulations are broadly influenced by API’s.  Obvious as it seems, the key to maintaining equipment compliance in the first instance is by WCE owners and operators to follow the latest published editions as revisions and updates are made periodically.

The inspection process:

inspection process

Identify – Type of WCE and Systems to be inspected, along with regional regulations that apply to the Drilling units operating location

The following steps in the inspection process are rigorously performed against the above identified standards and regulations for compliance

Review – Equipment Documentation, Procedures & Personnel

Inspect – Physical internal Equipment & System inspections

Witness – Remedial action to Equipment, Systems and Processes

Test –      Functionality and Pressures integrity

Report –   Report findings on the previous steps

The areas where we frequently identify non-compliance is with WCE Certification, Documentation and Record Keeping.

Although there is a general awareness of applicable API & Regional regulations and their importance among rig crews, there remain gaps when it comes to specific detail within these documents.

There are numerous requirements for WCE documentation to be available at the rig site with equipment OEM data books and certification also available for review.

On several recent inspections our Engineers have identified equipment believed to be certified, not to be due to the certification not corresponding with serialisation of the physical equipment on-board.  Without this simple level of equipment traceability, the equipment is simply not fit for purpose.

Where pressure testing of WCE is not possible to witness, there is opportunity for our Engineers to review previously conducted tests records. Unfortunately, poorly recorded testing criteria and results are more commonly identified than expected, with charts and worksheets unsigned, undated, test configuration, reference to test equipment used and out with the pressure testing tolerance.

We can’t emphasize the importance of recording this level detail to rig crews.  Ultimately in the event of an incident involving the WCE, recorded documentation may be reviewed in ordered to assess that the equipment was fit for service and shall be retained for a minimum of two years (per API S53 5th ed.).

Our advice for Well Control Equipment owners/operators regardless if an inspection is pending or not, would be – Ensure equipment documentation is in order, available and that crews understand specifically how API S53 5th Edition applies to their Rig.

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