Annular BOPs Versus Ram BOPs

Understanding the difference between annular BOPs versus ram BOPs can help you select what’s best for your drilling site. While both blowout preventers serve the same purpose, preventing potential blowouts, they function differently. This guide will help you understand the features of each blowout preventer to help you choose wisely.

Ever wondered about the differences between annular BOPs versus ram BOPs? Learn how each helps in blowout prevention (BOP). Click To Tweet

So what’s the difference between annular BOPs versus ram BOPs? The annular BOP helps seal the space around the drill pipe (also known as annular space) during a “kick.” But, a ram BOP is designed to seal off a well when the drill pipe, tubing, or casing is in the well. There are four ram BOP types.

That said, let’s explore the differences between the annular BOPs versus ram BOPs.

Annular BOPs

The annular blowout preventer is usually installed above the BOP stack to close or seal off anything in the well. It applies a closing pressure to shut off the open hole. It also maintains the seal when the tubing, casing, or drill pipes are out of the drill hole.

The annular BOP’s sealing device is a doughnut-shaped elastomeric material known as the “packing element.” Different shapes of metallic materials can be molded into the element to reinforce elastomeric material. That helps to improve its efficiency.

Ram BOPs

Ram BOPs are large bore valves often installed between the wellhead and the annular blowout preventer. Besides sealing off the wellbore, the rams can also hang off the drill string. Here are the four different types of ram BOPs.

  • Pipe Rams: Their sealing elements can fit around various tubular, including the production tubing, drill collars, drill pipes, and casing to seal off the wellbore.
  • Blind Rams: Comprises a rubber sealing flat element and will help seal the wellbore when it has nothing in it.
  • Shearing Blind Rams: They have blades that cut or shear the drill pipe, followed by sealing like the blind rams.
  • Variable Bore Rams: The sealing element is more complex as they allow the sealing around a vast range of pipe sizes.

Why They Are Important in Drilling Operations

Both annular BOPs and ram BOPs play a vital role in maintaining the safety of workers in drilling sites. During drilling operations, a potentially disastrous blowout can occur. If not prevented, oil and gas may get blown up the wellbore at high pressure, damaging the rig. The good news is that annular BOPs and ram BOPs can prevent such blowouts.

BOP Products 

You now know the difference between annular BOPs versus ram BOPs, making it easy to handle each of them. Both are important for the safety of your drilling crew and the natural environment. For that reason, ensure that you inspect, test, and refurbish them. Thankfully, BOP Products can help you with maintenance practices.

Contact us to learn more applications of annular and ram BOPs.