What Causes a Blowout on an Oil Rig?

Understanding what causes a blowout on an oil rig can help you devise strategies that ensure the workers’ safety during drilling operations. A blowout or oil rig explosion can be devastating and even cause deaths when not prevented. In 2017, CDC reported 69 fatalities on 876 oil rigs in the United States, with Texas having the highest fatalities.

If you work on an oil rig, it’s essential to understand the causes of a blowout to move to safety upon noticing the dangers. It could result from using defective equipment, non-standardized industry practices, or unsafe drilling procedures. Some of the risks can be avoided, but some oil rig operators often assume them.

What causes a blowout on an oil rig? Learn how oil rig blowouts can occur and how to prevent them. Click To Tweet

Types of Blowouts

A blowout is an uncontrollable flow of oil and gas from an oil well when the pressure control systems fail. Here are the different types of blowouts to note. 

Underground Blowouts

These types of blowouts are less common. They occur when reservoir fluid flows from high-pressure formations to low-pressure formations. Underground blowouts can occur in producing or drilling wells. However, there are no statistics about the phenomenon.

Surface Blowouts

This type of blowout is the most common and can harm the oil rig and surrounding area. When not controlled, it can result in a devastating explosion and cause fatalities. Oil rig operators can use relief wells to control pressure and fluid balance.

Underwater Blowouts

Underwater blowouts are the most difficult to manage and can cause several fatalities when not stopped. An excellent example is the Deepwater Horizon explosion, in 2010, along the Gulf of Mexico. It resulted in the death of 11 workers.

Causes of Blowouts

So, what causes a blowout on an oil rig? An oil rig blowout can occur when a rig applies excessive pressure during the drilling, forcing the underground pool of oil to erupt. Using unsafe drilling procedures, non-standardized drilling practices, and defective equipment can hasten the blowout, exposing workers to multiple risks.

Prevention Techniques – Blowout Preventers

Blowouts can be disastrous when not controlled. Oil rig operators can now use blowout preventers (BOPs) on their systems to stop the ‘kick’ from happening. When a blowout occurs, the BOP system shut off the valves, controlling the oil well fluids from gushing to the surface. 

BOP Products Can Help

Now that you understand what causes a blowout on an oil rig, invest in a blowout preventer to keep your oil rig operators safe during drilling operations. You don’t want your workers to be victims of oil rig blowouts. BOP products can help you get high-quality, standardized blowout preventers to ensure your workers’ safety.

Contact us today for affordable and reliable blowout preventers for oil rigs.