The Humongous Well Blowout of Arun Field

The biggest gas well blowout in Indonesia happened in 1978 when the CII-2 well in the Arun field was being drilled.

This well blowout is also the biggest in Southeast Asia ever.

About The Arun Field

The Arun field is a supergiant gas field. It had 16 trillion cubic feet of original gas in place and was discovered in 1971 by Mobil Oil in Aceh, Sumatera.

The Arun gas reservoir had abnormally high temperatures and pressure of 178 degrees C and 7100 PSIG respectively. The reservoir is made up of carbonate rock located at 10,000 feet depth.

Due to its high pressure, porosity, and reservoir thickness of about 500 feet, the Arun gas wells were extremely productive. Each well could produce more than 100 MMSCF of gas per day.

To monetize the huge amount of the discovered gas, the Arun LNG plant was built. The Arun LNG plant is the first LNG plant built in Indonesia and also in Southeast Asia.

The Blowout

The huge blowout in the Arun field happened in 1978 when the CII-2 well in the Arun field was being drilled.

The blowout killing efforts were led by Red Adair. Initially, the well control team attempted to kill the well from the top.  However, it failed.

Finally, the blowout was killed by drilling a directional well and then pumping a huge amount of acid followed by heavy mud into the bottom of the CII-2 well.

The blowout was so huge and due to the extremely high reservoir pressure, more than fifty high-pressure and high-volume pumps, and one hundred pump operators and engineers were brought in from several countries to kill it.

The photo above, courtesy of Pete Hackney, showed another Arun well, CIII-8, that blew out two years later in 1980. You can see the rig drilling a directional well that would intersect the blowing-out well to kill it.

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