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BOP pressure test times
06 March 2006
I'm looking for reference documentation on length of BOP tests during
operations. The reference we have found are the Operations guidelines
of the drilling contractors and the RP53 of 1997.
API 16A Specification for Drill Through Equipment (BOP) only covers
New Equipment however, there is an API Recommended Practice RP53 for
field testing. I have attached the relevant pages from the RP53
indicating what is specified and for both the low pressure and high
pressure the duration is ”œShould be stable for at least 5 minutes”.

Many thanks for your help.

Eric Kipperman
Senior Drilling Engineer
Nexen Petroleum U.K.Ltd

Tel. +44 (0) 1224 351205
Mob. +44 (0) 771 049 1694
4 answer(s)
Well Engineering Consultant and Instructor
Olango Consulting
Total Posts: 36
Join Date: 23/03/16

As Eric Roth already stated normal timings in the industry are 5 mins for the low pressure and 10 mins for the high pressure tests. 

There are now some electronic test systems available that look at the test pressures and that automatically deem a pressure test passed or failed according to BSEE requirements. 

Do not want to promote or advertise companies but if you google (greenlight BOP testing) you find a system that is simply connected to the test pump and it analysis all the pressure tests. There are some other providers

We have used it with BOP's, choke manifolds as wells as MPD manifolds. The system is BSEE API 53 approved and this gives you pass and fail for pressure tests significantly faster than the 5 and 10 min tests
Ops Mgr
KCA DEUTAG Drilling Ltd
Total Posts: 3
Join Date: 25/08/12

As Eric has stated API RP53, a recommended practice became a standard, S53 with the latest edition being the 5th released December 2018.

The only stipulated requirement now appears at the bottom of the tables, for example Table C.4 for Surface Stacks. It states: "*Pressure test evaluation periods shall be a minimum of five minutes. No visible leaks. Pressure to remain stable during the evaluation period. The pressure shall not decrease below the intended test pressure."

Hope that helps.


QA/QC Engineer[Drilling , Completions and Intervention Tools)
Applus Veloci
Total Posts: 8
Join Date: 10/05/19
Can anyone tell me, which is the recent version of API RP 53.?

V Gopalan
Managing Director - S-energy Consultants and Rig Integrity Global Services (RIGS)
S-energy Consultants
Total Posts: 3
Join Date: 27/05/17
I realize this is an old post to which the inquirer would already have the answers to, but for the benefit of others who use Spread, I'll answer anyway...

As most are aware, the original API RP53 was revised and re-issued in 2012 as API Standard 53, Blowout Prevention Equipment Systems for Drilling Wells. Section 6.5.3 covers test criteria, and states "a stabalized low and high test pressure shall be maintained for at least 5 minutes, with no visible leakage." This is the minimum industry standard, but some operators require stabilization of up to 10 minutes for the high pressure tests as per their internal procedures.  Low pressure tests are usually in 250-350 psi range, with the high pressure tests being the MEWHP or max pressure rating of the Well Control Equipment package (5k, 10k, or 15k). Frequency is once every 21 days while the WCE is in operation.

Hope that helps.


Eric S. Roth, RSP, MIIRSM
Managing Director - S-energy Consultants and Rig Integrity Global Services (RIGS)
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