Michael E. Montgomery WEST Hou Inc. Houston Several fairly simple testing procedures can significantly improve the reliability and availability of surface blowout preventer (BOP) equipment. The reliability of surface BOP equipment has largely been assumed satisfactory, considering the relative infrequency of blowouts. But recent data indicate surface BOP reliability is only one-tenth that of subsea BOP equipment. Thus, a company's possible exposure to blowouts may be significantly reduced by an improvement in the reliability of BOP equipment. BOPs are used to prevent an uncontrolled release of reservoir fluids. Mos...

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