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Course 903 - Well Site Completion and Servicing Safety

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

General Well Site Services Safety

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Introduction

Wells often need maintenance or service on surface or down-hole equipment. Working on an existing well to restore or increase oil and gas production is an important part of today's petroleum industry. A well that is not producing to its full potential may require service or workover.

Maintenance activities associated with the well when using a workover/service rig are:

  • removing the horsehead (pumping unit only)
  • removing the wellhead
  • pulling and running rods
  • pulling and running tubing

Removing the Horsehead (Pumping Unit Only)

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Typically, the horsehead of a pumping unit must be removed to gain access to the wellhead equipment.

Potential Hazards:

  • having the unit start up while working on equipment
  • being struck by counterweights on the pumping unit
  • being struck by dropped horsehead or caught between horsehead and walking beam
  • getting fingers and hands pinched and caught between tools and/or equipment
  • being struck by falling tools or equipment
  • falling from an elevation

Possible Solutions:

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  • Use lockout/tagout, to include mechanically securing the flywheel.
  • Inspect all slings before use.
  • Use tag lines to position the horsehead when removing or lowering and to keep personnel clear of suspended load.
  • Use the correct tools for each task.
  • Inspect the tools before each use.
  • Keep fingers and hands away from pinch points.
  • Secure tools from falling and keep the area below clear of personnel.
  • Use proper PPE and fall protection as required.

Removing the Wellhead

oil rig

To begin the process, the wellhead must be removed from the casing flange.

Potential Hazards:

  • being struck by released pressure or flying particles
  • being struck by the wrench or hammer while removing bolts and fittings
  • getting caught between wellhead, hydraulic wrenches, and wellhead fittings
  • getting fingers and hands pinched and caught between flanges or valves
  • slips, trips, and falls
  • entering into well cellars

Possible Solutions:

  • Stand clear of valves and fittings when removing fitting or bleeding off pressure.
  • Check wellhead pressure and bleed pressure off before removal.
  • Use the correct tools for each task.
  • Inspect the tools before each use.
  • Wear proper PPE including safety glasses.
  • Keep fingers and hands away from pinch points.
  • Cover open cellars.
  • Wear fall protection as appropriate.
  • Implement a confined space entry program.

Pulling and Running Rods

sucker rods

To service, repair, or replace the rods or pump, the sucker rod string must be pulled out of the hole.

Pulling rods refers to the process of removing rods from the well. Running rods refers to the process of replacing rods in the well.

Potential Hazards:

  • falling from heights
  • being struck by dropped objects
  • getting fingers or hands pinched in or between rod wrenches, rod elevators, power tongs, rod hook, rod transfer, and rod fingers

Possible Solutions:

  • Wear appropriate fall protection including a full body harness.
  • Never disconnect personal fall arrest systems while working in the derrick.
  • Ensure that workers are instructed in proper hand and finger placement when making and breaking rod connections or setting rods on the rod fingers.
  • Ensure that workers are instructed in proper latching procedures while pulling and running rods.
  • Wear the proper personal protective equipment.
  • Use extra caution while people are working overhead.
  • Avoid carrying tools while climbing the derrick ladder. Raise tools with a line to any worker above the derrick floor.
  • Ensure that all tools and equipment being used are secured with the proper safety lines.

Pulling and Running Tubing

sucker rods

Among the reasons for pulling tubing includes replacing a packer, locating a tubing leak, or plugged tubing.

Hazards and solutions when raising or lowering the traveling block and elevator.

Potential Hazards:

  • Being struck by the elevators and traveling block as they are raised or lowered.
  • Getting fingers and hands pinched between elevators and tongs or tubing collar.

Possible Solutions:

  • Instruct workers to stand clear of tong and slip area when lowering the elevator and traveling block.
  • Use handles on elevators as they are descending into place over the tubing.

Hazards and solutions when latching or unlatching elevators onto the tubing.

Potential Hazards:

  • Pinching hands or fingers in the elevators.
  • Being struck by elevators not securely latched.

Possible Solutions:

  • Ensure that workers are instructed in proper latching procedure.
  • Inspect and maintain elevators.

Video

Instructions

Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. The hazards associated with removing the horsehead to gain access to the wellhead equipment include all of the following, except _____.

2. To overcome the serious hazards associated with removing the horsehead when using a workover/service rig, you can do all of the following, except _____.

3. The hazards associated with removing the removing the wellhead include all of the following, except _____.

4. To overcome the serious hazards associated with removing the wellhead, you can do all of the following, except _____.

5. The hazards associated specifically with pulling and running rods on a well site include all of the following, except _____.


Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.