Develop Zero Contaminants Discharge Through Drilling Waste Management

Drilling oil wells produce large quantities of solid waste drill cuttings and also fluids that must be properly managed to prevent negative impact on human health and the environment.

The fluids comprised of drilling mud or brines used in each section of the well. The potential health and environmental hazards are fluids containing large amount of oil (diesel-based mud or OBM) or salts (high salinity water-based mud & completion brines). The solids are the cuttings removed from the hole. They do not present any hazards by their natural minerals but, if generated during drilling with OBM, they are contaminated by 20 to 30 % of oil, which require further treatment before final disposal.

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One crucial social objective of drilling operators worldwide have dedicated to seeking continual improvement to minimize the impact of its drilling operations on the environment and conserving unpolluted environment for future generations. One of the main challenges within drilling waste management system is proper management of the fluids & solids generated by drilling oil & gas wells.

To develop zero contaminants discharge policy through implementing drilling waste management The first move is to minimize as much as practical the amount of waste generated in solids control system processing. Then reduce the holes diameter (less cuttings generated & less mud to be disposed off) by optimizing the well casings program for every single well. The next, eliminate the use of “emulsion” mud (oil added to WBM to reduce weight) in loss circulation zones by using “Aerated mud” (compressed air added to reduce weight). At last, improve the efficiency of the solid control equipment installed on the rigs (“state of the art” shale shakers and rented “Hi-G dryers & centrifuges) to reduce.