Online IWCF Level 2 Well Control
This online IWCF Level 2 well control course is intended for any drilling personnel interested in understanding the basics of drilling and well control. The course is designed for the IWCF Level 2 Introductory curriculum, and students will receive an IWCF certificate.
The price below includes just access to the online course. To get an IWCF certificate, you must take a in-person proctored exam at an IWCF center. You can contact an IWCF center near you to schedule the exam after you complete the online course.
Chapter 1 Prerequisite Material
1.1 Introduction To Drilling
A basic Introduction into the creation, exploration, and drilling of hydrocarbons. How are oil and gas formed? What are some of the techniques used to search for oil and gas? How is drilling a hole different from digging a hole?
1.2 Introduction to Offshore Drilling
Provides links to valuable online Math resources to learn and refresh before you start the course.
An explanation of Density. Examines density at the molecular level and introduces the equation for density. Looks at the consequences of density when different substances are mixed together, such as oil, water, and gas.
Examines pressure through several different, real-life examples. Introduces students to pressure differentials and the concept of equilibrium; setting the stage for later discussion on pressure in the wellbore.
Chapter 2 Introduction to Equipment
2.1 Basic Drilling Equipment
Using animation, introduces students to the basic fundamentals of the drilling process. Introduces the drill bit, drill collar, drill pipe, and derrick. Then, introduces casing pipe and the cementing process. All concepts taught and explained to be accessible to students with no prior drilling knowledge.
2.2 Mud Circulating System
Using powerful animations, introduces students to rock cuttings and walks through the necessity for drilling mud circulation to remove the cuttings from the well. Uses surface and downhole animations to walk through the entire mud circulating system. Lastly, lets students visualize equipment involved in the mud cleaning process through animation of the internal workings of the Shale Shaker and Degasser.
2.3 Mud Circulation System- Subsea
2.4 Pipes & Manifolds
Uses the real-life example of a highway system to introduce valves and manifolds on a drilling rig. Walks through the definition, function, and importance of the pump, standpipe, and choke manifolds through vibrant animations. Introduces the adjustable choke and briefly goes into its importance in well control operations.
2.5 Workover & Completions
Offers an introduction into wireline, completions, and production operations. Introduces the importance of a Lubricator in effectively lowering wireline downhole. Uses animation to examine the role of a packer during the completions process. Lastly, takes a look at the importance of Test Trees and Christmas Trees in regulating well control after drilling operations have ended.
Chapter 3 Kick Theory
Defines the blowout and introduces the terrible consequences of an uncontrolled blowout on causing injury to personnel, loss of rig, and harm to the environment. Then, introduces the kick and examines how a kick is caused by pressure differentials and how a kick can turn into a blowout.
3.2 Introduction to Well Control
3.3 Formation Pressure
Offers a comprehensive look at Formation Pressure deep underground. First, introduces the concept of porosity- taking a look at formation rocks at a molecular level. Then, examines underground pressures both before and after drilling begins, taking a look at what pressures are removed during drilling operations. Lastly, examines the Formation Pressure Gradient and walks through how formation pressure can be mathematically calculated. Student must interact with and answer a question to complete lesson.
3.4 Hydrostatic Pressure
Examines the pressure exerted by a column of fluid, both in and out of the wellbore. Derives the generally accepted equation for hydrostatic pressure in a well and walks students through examples. Interactive, in-module questions require student to read, answer, and think about question while going through the lesson.
3.5 Pump Pressure
Introduces friction and examines how frictional losses act against any movement along a surface. Identifies Pump Pressure as the pressure needed to overcome the frictional losses throughout the entire system. Lastly, explains how Annular Friction Loss can contribute to bottomhole pressure.
3.6 Kick Theory
Puts together Formation Pressure and Bottomhole Pressure to examine exactly what causes a kick to occur.
3.7 U-Tube Effect
Uses animation to indicate the exact location of the U-Tube within the wellbore. Then, introduces the U-Tube effect with an example.
3.8 Lost Circulation & Fracturing
Explains the second part of Kick Theory; the consequences of letting Bottomhole Pressure become too much larger than Formation Pressure. Through animation, demonstrates how Lost Circulation can cause True Vertical Depth to fall and cause a kick to occur.
Explains the pressure felt on rig surface equipment and the consequences of exceeding the maximum surface pressure limits of well equipment. Creates an analogy to compare wellbore surface pressure with surface pressure felt on the cap of a shaken soda bottle.
Chapter 4 Fluids
4.1 Drilling Fluids
Explains the major differences and relative pros and cons of both oil based and water based drilling mud. Also, briefly explores synthetic oil based mud, cement slurry, and fluids used during the workover and completions process.
4.2 Mud Balance
Introduces the Mud Balance and Pressurized Mud Balance tests used to calculate the density of drilling mud in the rough field environment.
4.3 Formation Fluids
4.4 Gas Properties
Explains some of the most dangerous gases experienced during drilling operations, exploring the properties that make them dangerous to rig personnel. Explains the low density of gas and how it can lead to gas migration when mixed together with other liquids. Introduces Boyle’s Law and the concept of gas compressibility.
4.5 Gas Kick
In an interactive, engaging way uses the example of one gas kick to demonstrate the consequences of two different approaches to dealing with a gas kick: 1) Taking a very long time to respond to the gas kick and 2) Letting the gas kick migrate without expansion. At each stage of the kick’s movement upwards, the student must engage in many calculations.
Chapter 5 Blowout Prevention System
5.1 Introducing the BOP
Conceptually introduces the BOP stack and its importance in shutting-in the well to prevent kicked fluid from reaching the surface. The differences between annular and ram preventers are discussed, using 3D animations to visually demonstrate the unique attributes of each preventer. Ram elements are discussed as well as the role of the drilling spool.
5.2 Annular & Ram Preventers
5.3 Auxiliary BOP Equipment
5.4 BOP Control Systems
5.5 BOP Testing
5.6 Subsea BOP
Chapter 6 Well Control Equipment
6.1 Pressure Gauges
Introduces the pressure gauge, explaining how pressure gauges are used across the mud circulating system to measure different pressures on the surface. Specifically, examines the major pressure gauges and the pressures read during normal circulating operations. The Pump Pressure Gauge, Standpipe Pressure Gauge, Drillpipe Pressure Gauge, and Casing Pressure Gauge are all examined.
6.2 Fluid Recording
Explains the importance of fluid measurement in detecting problems in the wellbore. Introduces the Pit Level Indicator, used to measure the amount of fluid returning to the mud tanks, the Mud Return Indicator, used to measure the speed of fluid returning to the mud tanks, and the Mud Pump Stroke counter, used to count how many strokes of fluid have been pumped into the well.
6.3 Gas Control
Reiterates some of the challenges with adequately controlling gas in the well. Introduces the gas detector and its importance in detecting gaseous fluids that are invisible to the human eye. Delves into the Mud-Gas Separator, examining its limitations and the consequences of rupture and gas blow-through when its limitations may be exceeded.
6.4 Safety Valves
Explains the need to shut-in the drillpipe in addition the annulus. Introduces the Inside BOP, the Float Valve, and the Full Opening Safety Valve
Chapter 7 Causes of Kicks
Establishes some of the different ways that hydrostatic pressure can become lower than formation pressure, causing a kick to occur. Specifically, discusses how tripping pipe out of the well can reduce Total Vertical Depth and how the mud cleaning process can sometimes remove barite and other weighting chemicals, reducing Mud Weight.
Uses powerful, downhole animation to let students visualize the suction effect of Swabbing and how it can pull formation fluid upwards into the well. Introduces Swab Pressure and explains how it acts against bottomhole pressure.
Uses powerful, downhole animation to let students visualize the water hammer effect of Surging and how it can create significant downward pressure that causes fracturing or lost circulation. Introduces Surge Pressure and explains how it acts against bottomhole pressure.
7.4 Abnormally Pressured Formation
Travels back in time to introduce how faults were formed and how they created underground, abnormal pressure zones. Gives students a strong visualization of what it really means for a formation to be abnormally pressured.
7.5 Annular Gas Flow
Introduces Annular Gas Flow, explains how it can take place, and lets students visualize the dangers it creates through animation.
7.6 Intentional Kicks
Explores several intentional kicks that create situations where formation fluid enters the wellbore. Explores the drill stem test and underbalanced drilling operations.
7.7 Causes of Kicks (Subsea)
Chapter 8 Kick Detection
8.1 Quick Response
Emphasizes the importance of responding to a kick as quickly as possible, highlighting the consequences of taking too long to respond.
8.2 Kick Indicators
Delves into the different indicators that a kick may have occurred. Introduces the Trip Tank and the role of careful trip tank monitoring in detecting a kick during tripping operations. Also, examines the Flow Check, examining the concept and procedures involved in Flow Checks during both drilling and tripping operations.
8.3 Kick Warning Signs
Introduces the warning signs that formation pressure is increasing or that we have entered an abnormally pressured formation. Examples include changes in the mud weight of returning drilling mud, increased drilling mud viscosity, and the generation of odd-shaped rock cuttings.
8.3 Subsea Kick Detection
Chapter 9 Drilling Procedures
Introduces the Trip Sheet and its importance in monitoring the Trip Tank during tripping operations. Walks through a specific example of pipe being pulled out of the well and the details that would be recorded on a trip sheet.
9.2 Wireline & Casing
9.3 Shallow Gas Hazards
Explains how the hazards of a gas kick can be greatly exaggerated at shallow depths. Introduces the diverter, explaining how it can be used effectively in shallow well situations
9.4 Shut-in Concept
It provides a detailed, step-by-step conceptual understanding of the impact of well shut-in on underground pressures. Using the example of a bottle cap explains how shutting-in the well makes bottomhole pressure automatically equal to formation pressure.
9.5 Crew Drills
9.6 Top Hole Drilling
Chapter 10 Kick Procedures
10.1 Shut-in Concept
Provides a detailed, step-by-step conceptual understanding of the impact of well shut-in on underground pressures. Using the example of a bottle cap, explains how shutting-in the well makes bottomhole pressure automatically equal to formation pressure.
10.2 Abnormal Circulation
10.3 Shut-in Procedure and Verification
Defines the importance procedures involved in the well shut-in process, during both drilling and tripping operations. Also explains the importance and procedure involved in verifying that the well has successfully been shut-in.
10.4 Recording Parameters
Explains the three most important parameters that need to be recorded after shut-in: Shut in Drill pipe Pressure (SIDPP), Shut in Casing Pressure (SICP), and Estimated Pit Gain. Walks through the importance of SIDPP and SICP in understanding Formation Pressure and explains why SIDPP is generally lower than SICP.
Chapter 11 Kick Methods
11.1 Constant BHP Methods
Introduces, conceptually, the importance and power of constant bottom hole pressure well kill methods. Explains how maintaining constant bottomhole pressure can prevent additional kicks, lost circulation, and surface pressure problems. Explains how turning on the Pump can increase bottomhole pressure and risk a kick, while opening the adjustable choke can reduce pressure when needed.
11.2 Kill Sheet
11.3 Kill Methods
Explains the two major Kill Methods: Driller’s Method and the Wait and Weight Method- indicating the major differences, the pros and cons of each method, and the respective steps involved in properly executing each method.
11.4 Subsea Kill Methods
Chapter 12 Conclusion
12.1 Well Control Risks