Well Expertise Deploys Mobile P&A Simulator on Rig Off Norway

Credit: Well Expertise - Photo by Ole Laget
Credit: Well Expertise - Photo by Ole Laget

Norwegian offshore oil and gas well management firm Well Expertise said this week it had successfully used a mobile on-the-rig simulator for plug and abandonment well control training to decommission several North Sea wells and is now planning other well campaigns using the simulator.

Well Expertise is the well management company for operator DNO during planning and execution of the permanent plugging and abandonment (P&A) of three subsea template wells at Oselvar field in the southern part of the Norwegian sector in the North Sea.

Deployed aboard Dolphin Drilling's Borgland Dolphin semi-submersible drilling rig, this is the first time an on-the-rig (OTR) simulator has been used in-situ for P&A well-specific training to help prepare crews in advance of potential well control situations in the operation, the company said Thursday.

Well Expertise worked with Drilling Systems and training specialist, Survivex to develop well specific scenarios to simulate bull heading, reverse circulation, trapped gas and cutting casing operations. Six crews were then given various scenarios to test choke control and response to pressure increases.

Borgland Dolphin drilling rig - Credit: Dolphin Drilling

"Following this and previous onboard simulator training success, Well Expertise will now be rolling out well specific onboard simulator training across its remaining drilling campaigns later this year with DNO, Wellesley and other operators,"  Well Expertise said.

Morten Laget from Well Expertise said onboard simulator training was an excellent tool to help reduce the risk of operations.

“Having previously used the OTR for well-specific training before exploration drilling for Wellesley we knew it worked well to prepare the crew and build a confident operations team.

“Killing the well is a key part of any decommissioning project and presents its own unique challenges. Plug and abandonment training is typically not addressed to this extent during periodic mandatory well control courses, but the OTR equipment allowed us to undergo some practical training on the rig itself during work time combined with review of Subsea Equipment and Associated Operations. This helped the crew in building competency and confidence and lowering the risk of major well control incidents.

“Following the success of this training, we now plan to roll out OTR onboard training across at least three further exploration wells, including a HPHT well in 2022. “

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