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Unformatted text preview: remained lower. One crew member testified that the driller and the toolpusher had concerns about this pressure differential. 268 The rig crew then attempted to bleed off the drill pipe (i.e., open the well) to eliminate the pressure differential, which briefly caused the drill pipe pressure to decrease. 269 Given that the rig crew at this time decided to bleed off the drill pipe pressure, they likely still did not understand that the well had begun to flow. Bleeding off drill pipe pressure during a kick is not an industry‐accepted practice. At 9:38 p.m., the drill pipe pressure began to build back up. Dr. Smith concluded that, at this time, the rig crew routed flow to the trip tank to check whether the well was flowing. 270 At approximately 9:42 p.m., the crew detected flow and diverted the gas to the mud gas separator. At the same moment, or shortly thereafter, the rig crew activated the upper annular preventer, after the mud from the well was already flowing on the rig floor. The Sperry‐Sun data indicates the annular preventer was activated at 9:43 p.m., and by 9:47 p.m., the variable bore ram had been activated. By this time, the rig crew knew that a well control event was occurring. The Transocean well control manual provides that the crew should ac...
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