Take Control of Flowback with Connection Fingerprinting and Trip Sheets

October 7, 2020

The space between formation and fracture pressure is a moving target that drillers must continuously hit to prevent flowback and lost circulation. Kicks and blowouts are especially likely to occur while tripping in and out or connecting stands, underscoring the need to monitor a complex variety of leading indicators. Vigilance goes without saying, however, crews only have so much bandwidth to monitor all of the channels, gauges, and data points that show a gradual trend in fluid pressure or spike. Blink and you’ll miss it. And the fact is monitoring of the mud system and keeping tabs on connections and trip metrics is still a largely manual process reliant on hand written records and calculators, opening the door for errors and potential well control issues.

Corva is unleashing 2 new real-time kick prevention tools that deploy powerful pattern recognition to detect subtle pressure changes during connections and automate trip sheet analysis.

Connection Fingerprinting App

When monitoring flowback after pumps are turned off for a connection there is a unique pressure signature. Like a fingerprint, every drilling connection distinctive flowback signature should match (or be very similar to) the previous connection. Even a slight deviation from the pattern can indicate a potential ballooning or lost circulation event.

Corva’s Connection Fingerprinting app tracks flowback events between connections and compares each against previous events to automatically identify gain or lost flow trends. The app displays the last 5, 10, or 15 flowbacks and color codes events from bold to semi-transparent by time with more recent flowbacks more brightly colored. Users can multi-select which mud pit channels to monitor, including active tank, trip tank, flow in, and flow out.

Equipped with the Connection Fingerprinting app, the driller or companyman gains valuable insight into emerging wellbore problems and enables well control operations to be rapidly implemented to prevent kicks and other issues with the mud system.

Trip Sheet App

Many of the largest blow outs in history occurred while tripping in or out of hole. The trip sheet is an essential tool that drillers rely on to identify well control problems while tripping under normal operations. However, trip sheet calculations are often performed by hand from the rig floor using pencil, paper, and a calculator.

By automating trip table calculations, Corva’s Trip Sheet app enables the process to be more transparent and less prone to error. this helps on-site and remote teams ensure safer tripping operations, prevent catastrophic well events, and avoid loss of expensive drilling fluids.

The app creates a new table entry for each stand tripped classified by trip direction. This allows the driller or companyman to easily track each stand tripped in or out of hole and compare to expected fluid volumes in the trip tank. Corva’s automated trip sheet provides real time insight into whether more or less than expected volume is entering or leaving the trip tank, which is a leading indicator of a well control event. At a glance and in real time, the trip table allows the driller to see stand or joint counter, starting and ending bit depth, tripped footage, starting and ending trip tank volume, actual displacement with available normalization by depth, and cumulative displacement. Users can also switch to a previous BHA or casing string to view historical trips and compare trends.

With the introduction of our Well Control product suite, Corva continues to push the envelope for safer operations, drilling consistency, and automation on the rig. And with Corva’s dedication to continuous improvement and optimizing every workflow we can, connection fingerprinting and trip sheets are just the start.