WP Drill Cuttings Treatment

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Drilling waste and its treatment is an increasingly important part of any oil drilling operation, whether it is on-land or off shore. These wastes, which typically include-drill fluid cuttings and well bore clean-up fluid are-hazardous and must be treated before disposal.

Treatment of drill cuttings resulting from oil and gas exploration and production is a key issue for the offshore oil and gas industry, regulators and stakeholders. Drill cuttings are a large discharge into the marine-environment from offshore oil and gas operations. As such, regulation of the discharges associated with drill cuttings is a key concern in all jurisdictions that support oil and gas operations.

Drill cuttings may be contaminated in either water based mud (WBM) or non-aqueous drilling mud (NADM) which including oil based mud (OBM),enhanced mineral oil-based muds (EMOBM), synthetic-based mud (SBM). And while it has become an accepted practice to treat the NADM cuttings, the treatment of WBM cuttings is becoming common in more sensitive environments. Well bore clean-up fluids are typically hydrocarbon contaminated and will also require the filtering of contaminants prior to disposal reuse.

WBMs are made up of water mixed with bentonite clay and barite, to control mud density, as well as a number of other substances to achieve desired drilling properties including thinners, filtration control agents and lubrication agents.

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The typical WBM is made up of the following:

  • 76% seawater (offshore)
  • 15% barite
  • 7% bentonite and
  • 2% others

NABMs are emulsions of primarily non-aqueous material. The continuous phase is the non- aqueous base fluid and the internal phase water and various chemicals. As with WBMs, other substances are add to NABMs to achieve desired drilling properties. For example, barite is added to achieve desired density; and proper viscosity is achieved by altering the base fluid to water ratio and using clay materials and emulsifiers to stabilize the water in oil emulsions. The base fluid also serves as a lubricating agent. The composition of a typical NABM

  •  46% non-aqueous base fluid
  • 33% barite
  • 18% brine
  • 2% emulsifiers and
  • 1% others

Also, three groupings are defined based on aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations, especially:

  •  Group I (high aromatic content) – such as diesel oil based and conventional mineral oil based fluids.
  • Group II (medium aromatic content) – such as low toxicity mineral based fluids; and
  • Group III (low to negligible aromatic content) – such as synthetic hydrocarbons and highly processed mineral oils.

On the drilling platform, the mixture of drilling fluid and cuttings are collected for treatment to control solids and recycle the drilling fluid back down the hole. The use of drilling fluids and the associated treatment and fluid circulating systems are critical components in the overall drilling operations.

Drill cuttings treatment options:

1). Non-aqueous drilling mud drill cuttings (oil based mud drill cuttings) minimization treatment. See WPEnvironmental Oil Based Mud Drill Cuttings Management Unit for more details.

2). Water based mud drill cuttings harmless treatment. See WPEnvironmental Water Based Mud Drill Cuttings Management Unit for more details.

3). Non-aqueous drilling mud drill cuttings (oil based mud drill cuttings) harmless treatment. See WPEnvironmental Thermal Chemical Cleaner and WPEnvironmental Thermal Desorption Unit for more details.

Working Flow of WP Drilling Cuttings

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WP Water Based Mud Drilling Cuttings Unit / WBM Unit

Water Based Mud Unit

WP Oil Based Mud Drilling Cuttings Management System / OBM ASK FOR A QUOTE

Oil Based Mud Unit