underground blowout | Energy Glossary

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underground blowout

1. n. [Drilling]

The uncontrolled flow of reservoir fluids from one reservoir into the wellbore, along the wellbore, and into another reservoir. This crossflow from one zone to another can occur when a high-pressure zone is encountered, the well flows, and the drilling crew reacts properly and closes the blowout preventers (BOPs). Pressure in the annulus then builds up to the point at which a weak zone fractures. Depending on the pressure at which the fracturing occurs, the flowing formation can continue to flow and losses continue to occur in the fractured zone. Underground blowouts are historically the most expensive problem in the drilling arena, eclipsing the costs of even surface blowouts. It may prove necessary to drill a second kill well in order to remedy an underground blowout.

See: blowoutblowout preventerkill