Energy Excursions

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Secondary Well Control

“Take an energy excursion to gain an understanding of secondary well control and what failures necessitate this procedure.” 


This lesson guides students through the primary purpose and background of secondary well control, initiated due to failure of primary well control. Students will learn the definition of primary well control, an introduction to blowout preventers and the different types, as well as the various methods of secondary well control. Exposure to an interactive drilling rig will allow students to look further at the various types of blowout preventers and where they are located on the rig. This lesson also includes a look at a real-life case study from a blowout resulting in  an oil spill in the Midway-Sunset Oil Field in 1910, and how the incident led to the development of technology to prevent blowouts. 

Learning Outcomes 

  • Gain a thorough understanding of the definition and principles of secondary well control 
    • Introduction to Blowout Preventers
    • What is Bottom Hole Pressure? 
    • Secondary Well Control Methods 
  • Become familiar with blowout preventers and how they work 
    • Types/Components of Blowout Preventers 
    • Where are blowout preventers located on a drilling rig?
  • Gain an understanding of the cause and events to take place during the Midway-Sunset Oil Field Spill in 1910 
  • View the investigation results from a blowout in Oklahoma to see the important of the concepts, equipment, and decision point you have learned about in drilling a safe well
Oklahoma Academic Standards
TEKS Standards
College Board Units and Topics
Next Generation Science Standards