New solids control technology brings ‘pitless’ drilling to wireline coring operations

Posted on 02 October 2012

By Katie Mazerov, contributing editor

System 360: The “pitless” system in action, flocing solids and capturing usable water effluent.

Halliburton’s Baroid Industrial Drilling Products division is seeing global deployment of its solids control technology for processing waste in continuous wireline coring operations, eliminating the need for earthen pits or sumps to capture solids and fine cuttings. The “pitless” drilling process, SYSTEM 360, uses a combination of mechanical and chemical separation technologies to extend the life of the drilling fluid by recapturing up to 80% of the original water content from the waste stream, thereby reducing overall water usage.

The system completely removes fine, problematic cuttings from a fraction of the total drilling fluid volume and maintains the desired mud density, explained Bob Brown, Baroid’s global business development manager. “This is a very specific solution aimed at a sector of the industry that has not been served by conventional solids control technology, such as shale shakers,” he said. “Until now, wireline coring operations have depended on large pits to process solids and cuttings, a method that is expensive and inefficient because of the length of time it takes for ultra-fine cuttings to gravity-settle. With this new system, we can reuse the water and run lower-solids mud, which results in higher production rates during the drilling process.”

In addition to improved drilling performance, contractors are seeing improved borehole stability resulting in reduced re-drills and increased rates of penetration, and a more stable water supply for continuous drilling. “Operators are enjoying significant reductions in water usage, reduced truck time in bringing water to and removing waste from the drill site, and improved safety by eliminating haul-road traffic and the cost of digging and rehabilitating ground pits.”

The system involves three key steps:

  • Drilling fluid from the sump is pumped through hydrocyclones that separate beneficial solids from non-beneficial solids. Usable drilling fluid is returned to the system;
  • A chemical flocculation process reduces the waste stream that the hydrocyclones create. Clear water is separated from the flocculated solids into a collection tank for reuse; and
  • The flocculated dried material is compacted into a bag for disposal. The reclaimed water from the treated fraction is used to mix additional drilling fluid.

SYSTEM 360 – so named because the drilling fluid moves full circle from the original make-up water to the separation of drilling solids in a dried and bagged form to the eventual reuse of the drilling fluid – was introduced in December 2011. Since then, units have been installed in Peru, Chile and several other Latin American countries, as well as the US, Canada and Australia, where field trials have been completed in coal seam gas (CSG) exploration operations up to 1,000 meters deep.

“The system’s environmental benefits have ensured landholders that exploratory drilling is safe,” said Andrew Bilton, Baroid’s field service representative in Australia. “SYSTEM 360 lets us show landholders how we take the drilling fluid out of the ground and put it into surface tanks, reducing the impact on the land and potential danger to livestock.”

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike Moore Says:

    I would like to hear more about your process.

Leave a Reply

*

FEATURED MICROSITES


Recent Drilling News

  • 30 September 2014

    Statoil, Shell and Sonatrach awarded acreage onshore Algeria

    Statoil and Shell were awarded the Timissit Permit License in the Illizi-Ghadames Basin onshore Algeria. The license is in southeastern Algeria and covers an area of 2,730 sq km...

  • 29 September 2014

    Rosneft discovers oil in Kara Sea

    Rosneft successfully completed the drilling of the Universitetskaya-1 well in the Arctic – the northernmost well in the world, according to the company, and discovered oil at the East-Prinovozemelskiy-1 license area...

  • 26 September 2014

    Statoil and PL713 partners discover gas in Pingvin prospect in Barents Sea

    Statoil has together with PL713 partners made a gas discovery in the Pingvin prospect in the Barents Sea. The discovery is a play opener in an unexplored frontier…

  • 26 September 2014

    Maersk Drilling names fourth ultra-deepwater drillship, delivery expected in Q4

    Maersk Drilling’s fourth ultra-deepwater drillship was named Thursday morning in a ceremony at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard in Geoje-Si...

  • 25 September 2014

    Eni awarded 3 new exploration licenses in Egypt

    Eni was the successful bidder of three new exploration licenses in Egypt as a result of the competitive 2013 EGPC and EGAS bid rounds. The new licenses will be formally awarded after the ratification...

  • Read more news