4 ways to avoid having people in red zone

Published 19.05.2015

You’ve thoroughly identified and marked your hazards. Safe routes are established. Bolts and nuts are constantly being tightened and the safety mats are strategically located. Still you realize that the nature of the work and the environment expose you to dangers never found in an office job.

Does the way we do things on the rig floor influence the numbers of injuries? Of course – a lot of decisions made already in the planning process, has an effect on security. And the daily routines and methodology of drilling and casing are constantly being measured in relation to risk and injury exposure.

Could it be, that by altering production methods, we can reduce the risk of injuries on the drill deck?

The answer to that is yes, and it should be taken into consideration when calculating a project. The introduction of Top Drive Casing Running has shown that operations can run with fewer people and with equipment that are easier handled. The Casing Running Tool (TDCRTi) replaces more space demanding tools that are heavier in operation, and it reduces the need for people in red zone in four ways:

1. Fewer people needed to run the tools.

  • After rig-up, with the TDCRTi connected to the top drive, the driller is in position to run the casing alone. (At OWS we have even run a casing reading the graphs remotely from onshore).

2. No use of power tongs (on fixed platforms/jackups/on-shore rigs)

  • No moving of tongs on deck. Reduced danger of collision or squeeze injuries.
  • No operators needed on drill floor to operate casing power tongs.

3. Remotely operated equipment

  • The TDCRTi is remotely operated and fully controlled by the driller.
  • There are no elevators required to run the TDCRTi. (Assuming the rigs are equipped with a horizontal to vertical pipe handling system).

4. Rig-up/rig-down

  • The rigging is easy and done in about 30 minutes.
  • No further interface to the rig or hook up of hydraulic hoses is required.
  • The equipment can be hoisted up to rig floor in one run

The top drive casing running is a great example on how new technical improvements alter the production process. By reducing the number of hands needed to operate with or close to hazards, we reduce the exposure to danger dramatically. Being a high-risk work area, this can be seen in the reduction of injuries. This factor has a value in overall calculations and should be considered carefully.

Topics: Casing Running

By: Alexandru Gomoescu

Alexandru has been in the oil and gas industry for ten years providing drilling related services such as casing drilling, tubular running and drilling equipment rental. He is now Regional Manager (CESEE) at Odfjell Well Services.

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