What are Blowout Preventers (BOP)?

Blowout Preventers for Well-Boring or Drilling

Blowout Preventers also known as a BOP is a large valve that is able to seal off at the surface of a well that is being worked upon or drilled over. Preventers may have their valve closed during well interventions or drilling if there is an over pressure created as a result of an under ground zone resulting in the formation of fluids such as natural gas or oil to enter the well bore and threaten the proper functioning of the rig. Blowout preventer can be affected by closing the valve that is generally operated with the help of remote control through the hydraulic actuators.

BOP: How is it achieved with Varied Mechanisms?

Blowout Preventers drilling crew can then close the valve and bring about a closure to the explosive release of the pressure and hence gain control of the down hole pressure. When such a task is achieved, the Preventers can actually cause an increase of the drilling density of the mud within the hole until the pressure of the adequate amount of fluid is placed on the influx zone. Blowout preventer BOP can be opened for the various kinds of operations to be resumed. The blow out preventer was a good invention as it did away with the uses of the oil gushers that were expensive as well as dangerous to use.

Some of the Uses of BOPS

Preventers or BOPs are used for a number of purposes. They are available in different kinds of styles, pressure ratings and sizes. They are generally comprised of individual units that take into account a BOP stack. Blowout Preventers also include the designing of the blind rams for closing an open well bore. The pipe rams help in the sealing around the tubular components that are there present in the well, and some of these include the following:

  • Drill pipe
  • Casing
  • Tubing
  • Coiled tubing
  • Wire line

Features that Distinguish a BOP

Blowout shear seal preventer is fitted with a hardened steel for shearing surfaces as well as cutting through the tool strings and the drill pipe in case there is a failure in using all the other kinds of barriers.

The Blowout Preventers or the BOPs are extremely important and significant for ensuring the safety of the members of the crew as also the drilling rig and for that matter the well bore itself. This is the reason as to why the Blowout preventers are inspected, refurbished as well as tested on a regular basis. Preventers of the blow out may require daily tests to be performed on various functions of the critical wells on a monthly or less frequent basis with a low possibility of control problems or irregularities to occur. The BOPs can be installed under the water generally with a couple of hydraulic actuators.

There are usually a couple of types in which the Blowout preventer can be categorized. Blowout preventer is found in the ram and annular types.

  • A ram BOP uses 2 hydraulic rams that are horizontally opposed and are closed in around the drill string, shear through it and then seal or close off a well bore when there is no tubing or drill pipe.
  • Blowout annular preventer is also known as a spherical BOP and uses a hemisphere shaped rubber that is placed with steel. It closes around the drill string with an upward and inward motion. The movement reduces internal friction and stress between the sealing element and the body which causes longer life and hence lesser maintenance.