Safe Influx is a ground-breaking new technology to help avoid well blowouts by automating well control operations and removing the human risk factor associated with well control.

Invented last year by Phil Hassard, head of drilling simulation at Robert Gordon University, the technology is about to get its first outing in the field at the Weatherford Land Rig at Bridge of Don Aberdeen following overwhelmingly successful tests on a DrillSIM:6000 drilling simulator, manufactured by Drilling Systems, which is part of the 3T Energy Group.

Dozens of tests were carried out on the simulator replicating a huge range of well conditions from extreme to normal operations and monitoring the effects of influx flows both with and without the product.

Data test results were impressive. When Safe Influx technology was used, influx size was dramatically reduced to a safe minimum five times faster than conventional methods.

Co-founder and technical director at Safe Influx, Phil Hassard said, ”Well control is the biggest risk in the oil and gas industry and every year we see blow outs resulting in loss of life. Numerous studies show that up to 67% of these blow outs are caused by human factors so we knew that removing these and automating well control would mitigate the risk.

Clive Battisby, director of simulator operations at 3T Energy Group, which includes Drilling Systems, said: “We are delighted to have helped the Safe Influx team to bring this pioneering new life-saving technology to market. Our simulators realistically replicate real-life drilling and well control operations so enabled Phil and his team see and experience what would happen in a wide variety of scenarios without ever having to leave the safe environment of the classroom. Safe Influx will help to improve safety across the oil and gas sector and we wish Phil and his team the very best of luck in this new venture.”