Drilling Surface

The IADC WellSharp® Driller level course offers basic, fundamental well control knowledge for crew members involved in day-to-day drilling operations including kick detection, well shut-in procedures, calculations, standard well control methods, and barrier equipment.

3.5 Days

Mode Type Level Course Length
In-Person Well Control Courses IADC Drilling Driller 3.5 Days

WellSharp® Drilling - Driller

Surface Drilling Well Control Course Outline IADC

The IADC WellSharp® Driller Level course offers basic, fundamental well control knowledge for crew members involved in day-to-day drilling operations including kick detection, well shut-in procedures, calculations, standard well control methods, and barrier equipment.

Interactive Study Tools

  • Provide students with over 600 pages of pre-course study
    materials at wildwell.com
  • Provide students with a study guide that covers up to 150
    interactive well control questions and answers.
  • Provide students with a 50 question test to determine their
    well control knowledge gaps

Preliminary Items

  • Safety: escape routes, muster points, etc.
  • Discussion of special needs
  • Introductions
  • Class paperwork

Serious Well Control Problem From the Wild Well Library

  • Students form teams
  • Team discussion of the potential lateral well control problem
  • Simulator exercise demonstrating the well control challenge
  • Return to class to discuss the challenge

Well Control Course Objectives

  • Formations, pore pressure, fracture gradients
  • Killsheet, kick detection, flow checks, well shut-in, and gas
  • Well control methods
  • Well control equipment (barriers, BOPs, manifolds,
    accumulator, etc.)
  • Completing the well and post-completion activity
  • Final well control simulation: from kick to kill, with a
  • Assessments: skills and written Formations, Pore Pressure
  • Fracture Gradient
  • Formation structure
    − Porosity
    − Permeability
  • Fracture gradients, kick tolerance, pore pressures
    − Related formulas/math (hydrostatic pressure, the U tube,- force,
    MAASP, etc.)
    − Equivalent mud weight
    − Kick tolerance
    − Pore pressure vs. fracture gradient (drilling margin/window)
  • Simulator exercise demonstrating a FIT; discussion of LOT (if needed, depending upon class knowledge level)
  • Discuss casing and cementing program
  • Discuss drilling fluids program


  • Philosophy and operation of barrier systems
  • Number of barriers for safe operation
  • Testing barriers

Shallow Gas, Water Flows, and Top-hole Drilling

  • Definitions and causes of pressure in top-hole formations
  • Causes of underbalanced top-hole
  • Diverting practices
  • Top-hole drilling practices and causes of kicks

Abnormal Pressure Warning Signs

  • Abnormal pressure
  • Shaker evidence
  • Changes in mud properties
  • Changes in drilling data/parameters

Kick Detection

  • Well flow with pumps off
  • Pit gain
  • Flow return rate increase

Killsheet, Kick Detection, Flow Checks, Well Shut-in, and Gas Behavior

  • Related formulas/math (capacities/volumes, strokes,
    circulation times, etc.)
  • Causes of kicks
  • Kick signs
    − Overt kick signs
    − Pre-kick signs
  • Flow-check procedures
  • Shut-in procedures and verification
    − Drilling
    − Tripping
    − Out of the hole
    − Running casing and cementing
    − Wireline
    − Shut-in methods
    − Blind and blind shear rams
    − Diverting
  • Post-shut-in monitoring and activities
    − Kick log
    − Gas migration
    − Trapped pressure
    − Handling ballooning
    − Bumping the float
    − Line-up
  • Paper killsheet with preliminary well data
    − Well data, volume calculations
    − Discuss the importance of a killsheet
  • Simulator exercises demonstrating hard and soft shut-in
    − Kick detection and shut-in
    − Students complete killsheet with simulator well data
    (or instructor-given data)
    − Discussion of killsheet calculations:
    − What do they mean? (if needed) Discussion of − IADC WellSharp
    rounding rules
  • Gas behavior
    − While drilling
    − In horizontal wells
    − While shut-in

Well Control Methods

  • Review of related formulas/math (capacities/volumes, strokes,
    circulation times, kill mud, MAASP, ICP, FCP, etc.)
  • Wait and Weight Method
    − Discussion of Wait and Weight
    − Techniques
    − Skills (pump startup, step-down chart, gauge use, lag time, etc.)
    − Simulator exercise
  • Driller’s Method
    − Discussion of Driller’s Method
    − Techniques
    − Skills (pump startup, capturing pressure after the first circulation,
    − lag time, etc.)
    − Simulator exercise

Stripping Pipe Under Pressure

  • Discussion of technique
  • Skills (annular pressure, speed of strip, managing wellbore pressures via volumetric method)
  • Simulator exercise

Bullhead Method – Discussion and simulator exercise if time allows
Discussion of study guide questions

Well Control Drills

  • Pit drills
  • Trip drills
  • Stripping drills
  • Choke drills
  • Early response and empowerment to act

Completing the well and post-completion activity: a short discussion

  • Completions
  • Differences between drilling and workover

Final simulator exercise (if time allows)

  • Abnormal lateral well and kick detection
  • Kill the well with Wait and Weight Method


  • Ballooning wells vs. kicking wells
  • Fingerprinting

Discussion of Study Guide Questions
Skills Assessment
Computer-Based WellSharp® Exam