Enhanced Drilling and Transocean have developed a new Enhanced Kick Detection system (EKD), the company said on March 23. The system eliminates the external effects of rig and slip-joint motion, to give a highly accurate return volume flow measurement enabling rapid detection of flow anomalies, resulting in reduced time spent on flow-checking.

The new EKD system is based on experience and insight into enhanced volume control gained over the last 20 years operating Enhanced Drilling’s proprietary CML (Controlled Mud Level) and RMR (Riserless Mud Recovery) MPD (Managed Pressure Drilling) technologies.

The EKD system was successfully tested and qualified in a comprehensive test program that included simulation of historical real-life kick events at Enhanced Drilling’s testing facilities in Straume, Norway in the autumn of 2020.

The testing went on for several months and culminated with the system enabling detection of gain and loss within two minutes at inflow rates of 10 lpm / 2.5 gpm with 6000 lpm / 1500 gpm pumping flowrate and more than -+ 2 m/ 7’ of heave.

The development used the DNVGL Technology Qualification DNV-RP-A23 (TQP) process throughout the project and at the end of onshore testing the DNVGL Technology Certificate was issued.

The Enhanced Kick and Loss detection solution is now available for offshore deployment.

The EDR Enhanced Kick and Loss Detection system removes the effect of slip-joint motion from the volume balance and incorporates fingerprinting for connections and other transient flow-conditions. This provides the driller with a continuous flow-check and will enable a significant reduction in the time spent on flow-checking.

In its simplest form, the system can be described as an inline trip tank, where a flow spool is placed directly below the diverter housing. The fluid returns enter the flow spool and are pumped out by a VFD driven pump skid and back to the rig flowline. By continuously measuring the slip-joint position and correcting for the associated volume changes, the system allows continuous flow monitoring during all well stages to accurately show well stability, quickly alerting users and systems to kick/loss events.

With external influences being eliminated false indications can be removed and tighter alarm parameters can be used. An intuitive User Interface removes the need for human interpretation and reduces the driller’s cognitive load.

“We are very pleased to announce the launch of the EKD system,” Kjetil Lunde, CEO at Enhanced Drilling, said. “This development represents the next step in Enhanced Drilling’s technology journey as we continuously aim to deliver competitive technology for our clients.”