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Blowout Preventer
In hopes of moving them along on permit approvals, shallow water drillers recently conducted successful shear ram testing of a Blow Out Preventer (BOP) shearing drill pipe. The drillers wanted to show the Agency Formerly Known As MMS (or TAFKA MMS) (now Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement) (or BOE) that it could comply with new rules.

Two different types of shear rams within the BOP - interlocking shear ram (ISR) and shearing blind ram (SBR) ram blocks – were used in these tests. The objective of these tests was to demonstrate that the BOP, with either the SBR/ISR ram blocks, could shear the highest grade drill pipe that well operators plan to use in their well plans.

During the shearing test, the drill pipe and dual string tubing sheared within the allowable shearing pressure tolerances. After the pipe was sheared, pressure was applied beneath the rams at a low and high (10,000 psi) pressure to simulate well bore pressure. The BOP shear ram tests were witnessed by TAFKA MMS, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and several drillers. (Frank Maisano)