BSEE Technical Advisor outlines stringent requirements for HPHT wells

BSEE's Technical Advisor Russell Hoshman presented the HPHT rules on Wednesday, September 23 morning, as the keynote speaker at World Oil's 10th HPHT Drilling, Completions & Production Conference, which is underway at the Norris Center in West Houston. Hoshman is assigned to the Gulf of Mexico regional field operations.

Hoshman prefaced his remarks with two charts that showed the growing number of HPHT wells in the Gulf of Mexico since 2006. "There's a well being drilled on the shelf that will require a 30K PSI completion," Hoshman explained. "Bottomhole temperatures (BHT) are approaching 350oF. However, if you taken into account the Joule-Thomson (JT) effect, the completion equipment will have to be designed for 400oF."

Outlining the basis for BSEE conditions of approval, Hoshman said, "The basic principles are protection of people and the environment, dual mechanical barriers (verifiable by test), failure mode assessment/risk assessment that will include analysis of what could fail and mitigation for failure, and verifiable engineering principles." BSEE defines HPHT as being greater than 15K psi or 350oF.

According to Hoshman, the order of operations begins with the permit to drill (APD). Then, comes the submission of the HPHT conceptual plan as part of the deepwater operations plan (CDWOP) for approval by the BSEE Technical Assessment Section (TAS). A separate HPHT well completion plan under the APD or permit to modify (APM) needs to be approved by the BSEE District Office and District Operations Support. Subsequently, detailed HPHT DWOP and HPHT Well Intervention APMs have to be approved by both segments of the agency.

Hoshman called attention to the engineering standards undertaken by the industry through the API 17 TR8, which he stressed "does not address all issues associated with the construction of the HPHT equipment."

The HPHT DWOP includes an independent third-party (I3P) review whenever "a new technology application is deemed technically complex and requires a high degree of specialized knowledge."

The two-day HPHT conference continues at the Norris Center with technical presentations on various aspects of HPHT drilling, completions and production, panel discussions and technical exhibits.

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