Distinguished Lecturer - Capping a Subsea Blowout Is Not Rocket Science – Or Is It?

When:  Mar 18, 2021 from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM (ET)

Title: Capping a Subsea Blowout Is Not Rocket Science – Or Is It?
Speaker: A.J. Cuthbert, Halliburton
Time: Thursday, March 18, 2021, 10:30AM-11:30PM
Location: Zoom Meeting, Please see the registration information below.


Well intervention techniques with the highest likelihood of success, in the shortest amount of time, depend on an accurate assessment of subsea blowout conditions. Misconceptions still remain regarding the effect of the blowout plume and the ability to successfully land a capping stack on a blowing well.

In 2010 the response to a subsea source control incident was revised in terms of the hardware used, but the need to overcome the exit velocity, resultant lift-off forces, combined buoyancy and jet momentum effects of the blowout plume release dynamics was neglected, or otherwise unappreciated. One solution claimed the plume created “a centering force” such that when the capping stack entered the plume it supposedly self-centered and was guided down the plume onto the wellhead.

Recent rigorous CFD analysis of the plume force flowfield dispels this erroneous belief that the plume actually assists in the deployment process.  Additionally, it was recognized that the development of a case-specific engineering model for use in a dynamic landing simulation was required for both deep water and shallow water deployment scenarios. We now appreciate that with plume exit velocities and resultant jet force effects reaching Mach speed, aerospace engineering methodology is required.


Andy is currently the Global Engineering & Technology Manager for Halliburton, Boots & Coots. He holds BSc (Hons.) and MSc degrees in Geology from the University of London, has authored or co-authored more than 30 papers and presented to SPE, IADC, PMI, AAPG, MCEDD and SPE Young Professional audiences worldwide.  Since joining the Oil Industry in 1984, he has been involved in projects of ever-increasing complexity including the introduction of pioneering innovations, including multilateral completion technology and game-changing air-mobile capping stack technology. He currently holds 10 oil industry related patents with another 17 pending.

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Chang-Yu Hou