Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Petroleum Engineering

First Advisor

Adam T. Bourgoyne, Jr


This dissertation presents an experimentally verified numerical simulator to predict dynamic loads imposed on diverter systems during the well unloading following a shallow gas blowout event. Chapter I presents an overview of important aspects of well control and diverter systems. Also in this chapter, the objective of this research is precisely defined. The following chapter reports the latest efforts of the oil industry to provide diverter systems with more reliable designs and operational procedures. In Chapter III, the apparatus and procedures for the experimental work are discussed. Nine experimental runs have been conducted and the results are reported in a graphical format. Also in Chapter III, an experimental simulator for a gas reservoir is described and its performance is evaluated. Chapter IV is devoted to the derivation of a numerical simulator for determining dynamic pressure loads imposed on diverter systems during well unloading experiments. The simulator is based on an unsteady state two-phase flow methodology that solves a system of flow differential equations by using the method of finite differences. Two-phase critical flow phenomenon is considered by the simulator. The following chapter describes the implementation of this procedure in a computer program. Simulation results have shown an acceptable agreement to the experimental data. In Chapter VI the computer program is modified to simulate real diverter operations. A gas reservoir mathematical model has been developed and incorporated into the modified computer program. Four field cases have been analyzed. The last chapter shows important conclusions drawn during the development of this research and recommendations for future work.