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Report following audit of ConocoPhillips and managed pressure drilling in HPHT well 7/11-12 with Mærsk Gallant

During 23-25 May 2011, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) carried out an audit of ConocoPhillips Scandinavia’s (ConocoPhillips’) management of managed pressure drilling carried out by Mærsk Drilling Norge AS (Mærsk) in cooperation with Weatherford Norge AS.


Introduction
On 10 June 2011, a follow-up meeting was held at Weatherford following completion of an audit on the Mærsk Gallant drilling facility.

This meeting addressed requirements for personnel training for managed pressure operations and technical requirement documents for equipment for this type of operations.

ConocoPhillips participated as an observer both on the facility and during the follow-up on land.

Background
In connection with drilling of exploration well 7/11-12, use of managed pressure equipment (MPD) was planned to deal with the challenges associated with drilling in formation layers with high pressure and high temperatures.

This new technology is used to avoid pressure changes by elongating the work string when maintaining controlled back pressure in the mud return. The equipment includes a rotating flow valve mounted above the BOP and a computer-operated valve manifold which regulates pressure changes.

Objective
The objective of the activity was to verify factors in connection with this type of application of new technology. Based on the plans for the activity, we wanted to ensure the regulatory and internal company requirements were met in the planning, preparation and implementation phases.

Results
The audit activity identified two nonconformities in connection with:

  • Working environment
  • Fire fighting and fire and gas detection

Furthermore, four improvement items were identified in connection with:

  • Planning and implementation of MPD operation
  • Management of the MPD project
  • Training
  • Operation of managed pressure equipment