By Joanne Liou, editorial coordinator
SmartCare, Baker Hughes’ line of environmentally responsible solutions, now includes drilling and completion fluids, production chemicals and additives used in cementing and stimulation operations. SmartCare products are certified to meet or exceed global regulatory requirements, as well as Baker Hughes-specific product requirements and specifications, Art Soucy, Baker Hughes president of global products and services, said at a press event in Houston last week.
“We take seriously our commitment to environmental compliance,” Mr Soucy said. “At the same time, we’re also very committed to providing best-in-class performance to our customers and helping them reduce the environmental impact of operations.”
When SmartCare was introduced in 2010, it was limited to 45 certified fracturing additives targeted for hydraulic fracturing operations. Today, this line of products includes 106 certified solutions, and an additional 68 solutions are in the process assessment phase, Harold Brannon, Baker Hughes vice president of technology – pressure pumping, said. “We’ve come a long way, and we’re not done.”
Each individual chemical component of a product is evaluated for potential environmental and health impacts, followed by evaluation for performance, cost effectiveness and compatibility with other chemical components. Initially, the evaluation and review process was based on two components: the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals and the US Environmental Agency’s Clean Water Act, Mr Brannon said. The scope of the evaluation process has expanded to include 22 worldwide regulatory lists, including OSPAR, the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic.
The evaluation process determines specific components that are onerous, giving direction to R&D efforts to replace those components and make those products meet the set criteria. Baker Hughes also has employed a consulting agency to perform assessments on products supplied by vendors who wish to keep components confidential.
“By qualifying the discrete additive products, we have combined those products to make a system,” Mr Brannon explained. “Those systems would then have to be qualified and have performance capabilities for almost any reservoir requirement … to lead to the greatest utilization of these materials. We didn’t want to develop them to have an environmental product line; we wanted to develop an environmental product line that would be used in the broadest possible manner.”
Read about Baker Hughes’ LATIDRILL water-based drilling fluid system, which was modified according to SmartCare guidelines.