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Well Control Services

Well Control Supervision

Well control incidents can involve many types of complex scenarios given the location and type of well, the depth, bottom hole pressure, casing design, the type of operation being performed at the time of the blowout and the type of formation fluids being released. As such, every well control situation is unique requiring many different skillsets to regain control of the well. IWC personnel are highly experienced in providing the following well control services:

Shallow surface gas blowouts and water flows using diverter operations

Re-entry of the rig following diverter procedures

Application of conventional or combined well control methods

Control and management of underground blowouts

Kicks with pipe off bottom or out of the hole

Fishing operations conducted under pressure

HPHT control operations


Snubbing and coil tubing operations

Relief well planning and execution

Dynamic kill flow modelling (Olga-Well-Kill software)

Momentum kill flow modelling

Debris Removal

Debris removal is a major component of well control and control operations cannot begin until the debris is removed to expose the blowout preventers. Debris removal is a long process, frequently requiring more time than capping the well.

Ignition often occurs following the release of hydrocarbons during an equipment failure within the blowout preventer system. The resulting fire can cause a meltdown and collapse of the rig around the blowout preventers. In these situations, the debris must be removed to a staging area prior to repair or replacement of the defective blowout preventers.

In situations where the release of wellbore fluids has not ignited, removal of the rig may be required to gain access to the failed blowout preventers.

Firefighting and Capping Services

  • A team of experienced first responders are on call 24/7 to mobilize immediately, to provide an initial assessment of the situation to the Client followed with an immediate implementation of an effective response plan.
  • IWC provides experienced wild well control teams for debris removal, firefighting and capping operations.
  • Through a strategic alliance with Blowout Engineers, a Sierra Hamilton Company (Houston), the IWC response team has full firefighting and capping support with additional personnel and equipment available as required.
  • Strategic alliances throughout North America permit teams and equipment to be mobilized rapidly from Calgary or Houston to expedite response times in North America and internationally.
  • In the event the release of wellbore fluids must be ignited for public safety concerns or to protect the environment, IWC provides pre-planning of blowout ignition criteria coordinated with the identification of potential negative impact consequences to the environment and adjacent non-owned property and/or facilities.

Corporate Emergency Management

International Well Control maintains comprehensive response, communication, EOC management, and business continuity processes to enable their Clients to effectively manage all stages of an emergency.

IWC supervisors have provided emergency management support for a wide variety of incidents including blowouts, major pipeline releases into flowing bodies of water, and worksite fatalities.

Well Control Special Services

IWC provides the following services for planned maintenance or for an emergency response both domestically and internationally. These operations can be used to either regain control of a well or to provide a barrier and/or flow containment to facilitate repairs, and include the following:

  • Hot tapping to confirm the presence of pressure or to permit fluid injection.
  • Conventional and cryogenic freezing services to provide an ice plug as a temporary barrier to facilitate repairs.
  • Valve drilling can be used to drill a full bore opening in a gate valve or flange to permit the use of coiled tubing or wireline operations. Typically, valve drilling operations are performed on wellheads but side entries can also be conducted.
  • Equipment is suitable for 34.5/69 MPa (5000 psi/10000 psi) and H2S service.
  • Abrasive jet cutting can be performed to remove damaged surface equipment.