The Root Cause Analysis and Successful Control of an Oilwell Blowout in the Middle East

Rahman Ashena, Farzad Ghorbani, Muhammad Mubashir, Mahdi Nazari Sarem, Amin Iravani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


In 2017, a blowout and explosion occurred in a drilling oilwell in the Middle East. After drilling to the depth of 2,610 m, tripping was decided in order to change the bit. When the crew were pulling the drill string out of the hole with the drill-string being at the depth of 1332 m, blowout and explosion occurred. The well was a development well drilling almost horizontally (82 degrees inclination angle) into a highly-pressured gas-cap and oil pay-zone of the oilfield. In this work, following a brief explanation of the root causal factors of the incident, we give an account of the blowout control methods applied to put an end to the blowout. Both the top-kill method and the bottom-kill method by relief well drilling, were simultaneously implemented to control the blowout. Finally, the blowout was successfully controlled by the bottom-kill after 58 days. During top-kill operations, all equipment was cleared away and this contributed to proceeding to permanent abandonment immediately after the relief well success. Finally, the adverse effect of the blowout on the environment (HSE) was qualitatively discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, ADIP 2021
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
ISBN (Print)9781613998342
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


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