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Title: Downhole fires during air drilling

Abstract

Air drilling was introduced to the industry more than thirty-five years ago and has proven extremely economical in areas suited to its application. Among the advantages of drilling with air is the simplicity of the system and the overall absence of problems. However, one of the problems associated with air drilling is the downhole fire. Industry experience is that downhole fires are rare in incidence and spectacular in occurrence. The aftermath of such incidents are impressive. Typically, the bottom drill collars and bit are melted away making fishing operations impossible. As a result, the hole is almost always plugged back and sidetracked. There is very little history of surface damage, and the authors know of no recorded incident involving injury to personnel or the environment. An understanding of what does and does not happen when a downhole fire occurs is helpful. A downhole fire is not a fire as the term is commonly understood and used. Even though the blooie line is flared, the fire at the end of the blooie line does not travel down to the bottom of the hole. More properly, the downhile fire is a detonation or explosion complete with the attendant temperatures required for destructionmore » of the bottom collars and bit. Experience has shown that downhole fires do not occur when dry gas is encountered in dry air drilling. The downhole fire always occurs when wet gas or gas and oil have been encountered and are present in the system. Properly utilizing a mist pump always eliminates the potential for a downhole fire.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Grace, Shursen, Moore and Associates, Amarillo, TX (US); Petroleum, Farmington, NM (US)
OSTI Identifier:
6371363
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
World Oil; (United States)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 208:5
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; 03 NATURAL GAS; BOREHOLES; FIRES; ETIOLOGY; AIR; ECONOMICS; ENVIRONMENT; EXPLOSIONS; NATURAL GAS FIELDS; OIL FIELDS; PERSONNEL; PUMPS; SAFETY; TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT; WELL DRILLING; CAVITIES; DRILLING; FLUIDS; GASES; GEOLOGIC DEPOSITS; MINERAL RESOURCES; NATURAL GAS DEPOSITS; PETROLEUM DEPOSITS; RESOURCES; 020600* - Petroleum- Health & Safety; 030500 - Natural Gas- Health & Safety; 020900 - Petroleum- Environmental Aspects; 030800 - Natural Gas- Environmental Aspects

Citation Formats

Grace, R D, and Pippin, M. Downhole fires during air drilling. United States: N. p., 1989. Web.
Grace, R D, & Pippin, M. Downhole fires during air drilling. United States.
Grace, R D, and Pippin, M. Mon . "Downhole fires during air drilling". United States.
@article{osti_6371363,
title = {Downhole fires during air drilling},
author = {Grace, R D and Pippin, M},
abstractNote = {Air drilling was introduced to the industry more than thirty-five years ago and has proven extremely economical in areas suited to its application. Among the advantages of drilling with air is the simplicity of the system and the overall absence of problems. However, one of the problems associated with air drilling is the downhole fire. Industry experience is that downhole fires are rare in incidence and spectacular in occurrence. The aftermath of such incidents are impressive. Typically, the bottom drill collars and bit are melted away making fishing operations impossible. As a result, the hole is almost always plugged back and sidetracked. There is very little history of surface damage, and the authors know of no recorded incident involving injury to personnel or the environment. An understanding of what does and does not happen when a downhole fire occurs is helpful. A downhole fire is not a fire as the term is commonly understood and used. Even though the blooie line is flared, the fire at the end of the blooie line does not travel down to the bottom of the hole. More properly, the downhile fire is a detonation or explosion complete with the attendant temperatures required for destruction of the bottom collars and bit. Experience has shown that downhole fires do not occur when dry gas is encountered in dry air drilling. The downhole fire always occurs when wet gas or gas and oil have been encountered and are present in the system. Properly utilizing a mist pump always eliminates the potential for a downhole fire.},
doi = {},
journal = {World Oil; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 208:5,
place = {United States},
year = {1989},
month = {5}
}