The following procedures should be undertaken when a kick is detected. This procedure refers to fixed drilling rigs (land rigs, jack ups, rigs on fixed platforms). Special procedures for floating rigs will be given later.
For a kick detected while drilling:
1. Raise kelly above the rotary table until a tool joint appears
2. Stop the mud pumps
3. Close the annular preventer
4. Read shut in drill pipe pressure, annulus pressure and pit gain.
Before closing in the annular preventer the choke line must be opened to prevent surging effects on the openhole formations (water hammer). The choke is then slowly closed when the annular preventer is closed. Once the well is closed in it may take some time for the drill pipe pressure to stabilise, depending on formation permeability.
When a kick is detected while tripping:
(i) Set the top tool joint on slips
(ii) Install a safety valve (open) on top of the string
(iii) Close the safety valve and the annular preventer
(iv) Make up the kelly
(v) Open the safety valve
(vi) Read the shut in pressures and the pit gain (increase in volume of mud in the mud pits).
The time taken from detecting the kick to shutting in the well should be about 2 minutes. Regular kick drills should be carried out to improve the rig crew’s reaction time.
Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University