The disposal of drill cuttings and environmentally hazardous materials is becoming a critical issue aboard offshore drilling rigs. Governments are becoming intolerant to the use of oceans as a "waste can" for oil exploration. The issue now becomes one of HOW and WHERE do oil companies dispose of these liquid and solid wastes?
WesTech HMD has developed a solution to this problem. Disposing of Drill Cuttings and Hazardous Materials can now be simplified with a new product from Westech. This machine is the "Drill Cuttings & Solids Pulverizer" (DCSP).
The Westech DCSP reduces the volume and the handling difficulties associated with the disposal of materials generator during offshore exploration. Solids are reduced to a smooth slurry which can be handled via pumps and piping instead of with conveyors and shovels. Liquid waste streams can be mixed into these slurries thereby eliminating the need for separation of waste materials.
After slurryfication the drill cuttings can be disposed of in a variety of ways. The most attractive is the Re-Injection of these slurries downhole. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now considers re-injection an appropriate method for cuttings disposal.
Using a separate "Disposal Well", all solids and liquids can generally be discharged downhole using the rigs' mud pumps and circulating systems.
Another popular option is using this slurry for casing jobs in-place of valuable drilling mud. The slurry is mixed into the mud prior to pulling out of the hole, following the "wiper trip". It can also be used to fill the casing prior to pumping the cement. Both of these applications will use up large volumes of slurry and save the oil company significant sums of mud and money.
Disposal to shore side facilities is also simplified if downhole re-injection or casing operations are not an option. When the cuttings and spent muds are mixed together into a homogeneous liquid, these volumes can be pumped off to workboats into "Baker Tanks" or onto barges. Handling liquids is simpler than working with solids because standard centrifugal pumps can be used in place of awkward conveyors, clamshell style drag lines or back hoe machines. Further processing on shore will reduce liquid content and total volume, lowering disposal costs even more.
The Westech DCSP works by reducing cuttings or other solids (non-metallic) to fine silt size particles. Tests in June of 1999 demonstrated the successful pulverizing of construction size aggregate and sand to sub- millimeter sized silt. Average rock size introduced into the pulverizer ranged from 0.5" to 1.5" in diameter.
The Westech DCSP can be engineered for your special applications. The land based Pulverizer is skid mounted for regular over-the-road transportation. The offshore world demands smaller machines and Westech can provide a unit which will fit into your available space. This is typically the area located by the Shale Shakers or Desanders. All machines which are for use in Class I, Division I areas is either explosion proof or intrinsically safe.
The Offshore model (DCSP 16) is sized so that it can installed above a small Baker tank or mud conditioning pit. The Derrickman or Assistant Driller monitors the unit in the same manner that they already watch over the mud pits. The DCSP requires no ongoing maintenance and can run continuously, 24 hours a day. An automatic level switch and pneumatic pump are fitted to allow for the emptying of units' sump.
Your specific requirements for space and weight can be handled by the Westech Engineering Department. The vessel dimensions and machinery locations will allow us to design a skid for you, for either permanent or temporary installation of the Westech DCSP.