Due to recent happenings that have received wide publicity the oil industry is, out of necessity, becoming keenly aware of the need to look very closely at safety systems and equipment to meet requirements of regulatory agencies and, at the same time, provide the best possible protection for their wells.
This paper presents some of the equipment that is available to the industry. It deals with subsurface equipment and design as well as surface equipment and design. Operation of the equipment, in most cases, is explained in detail.
Pollution has been a problem in the oil industry, almost from its beginning. There are numerous types of pollution that can be directly and indirectly tied to the oil industry, but it is our purpose in this discussion to deal primarily with prevention of pollution from the standpoint of oil spill, whether it be on offshore platforms land locations, or drilling locations.
When looking at this problem objectively, we know why there are oil spills. With this in mind, we proceed to find a solution. Often times these problems seem difficult to solve, but with advanced technology and engineering ability that is available to the oil industry today it is reasonable to assume that the answer will be found. In reality, the solution is fairly simple. It is a matter of knowing what is required, selecting the necessary equipment to do the job, using the proper design, enacting a strict safety maintenance program and make it work. You, the producer, program and make it work. You, the producer, have an investment to protect.
Perhaps the most important phase of any oil or gas well is during the completion stage. It is at this point that a "Life of the Well Concept" should be considered. Considerable money has already been spent to drill and case the well. The downhole equipment required to complete the well is, in most cases, a small percentage of the costs to this stage.