Category Archives: JOURNAL on FLUIDS

Bulk tanks, thermal systems advance environmental efficiency of cuttings handling

By Katie Mazerov, contributing editor

In response to heightened industry and regulatory standards, service companies are continuing to introduce innovative technologies to improve the safety and environmental responsibility of solids control and cuttings handling.

Part of Baroid’s FullCircle® cuttings reinjection process, the two-stage hammermill grinds waste and cuttings to a slurry before they are injected into the formation for disposal. FullCircle The cuttings injection service helps eliminate costs and risks of cuttings handling and disposal.

“Solids control and waste management technologies assist the operator in achieving regulatory standards and provide effective mud conditioning for drilling operations,” said Ana Djuric, global environmental advisor for Halliburton’s Baroid business line. “Solids control is regulated for health, safety and environmental (HSE) standards, but the efficiency and throughput of solids control equipment are not directly regulated,” Ms Djuric said. “Indirectly speaking, disposal limits in a given area are what drive solids control efficiency.”

The primary purpose of solids control is drilling fluid conditioning, or removing as much of the unwanted solids as possible from the drilling fluid, she explained. “But the secondary purpose is to achieve regulatory disposal limits through effective waste management such as cuttings dryers and cuttings treatment equipment,” she said. Equipment selection is determined by several variables, including hole volume, available space on the rig and subsequent discharge in the area.

Halliburton’s Honey Comb Base (HCB™) tanks are used for bulk transfer of waste. In an offshore operation, waste is conveyed pneumatically by the SupaVac™ SV400 cuttings collection and pumping system through hoses from the HCB tanks on a rig to tanks or collection pits on a boat to be transferred onshore.

“Solids control equipment assists in environmental compliance by helping the operator remove unwanted solids, rock cuttings and particulate materials from the drilling fluid during operations,” Ms Djuric continued. The wastes can then be treated with secondary recovery or treatment equipment to extract additional fluids from the solids for reuse in drilling operations.

Among the latest advances are Halliburton’s Honey Comb Base (HCB) tanks, which improve the efficiency of handling cuttings for disposal. “By storing cuttings in pneumatic bulk tanks, as opposed to traditional skips, crane lifts are virtually eliminated in regards to cuttings handling,” explained Greg Abbott, manager, Solids Control Systems for Halliburton. “At the same time, bulk tank storage significantly reduces the chances of spilling oil-contaminated drill cuttings while transporting them from the drilling locations to disposal locations.”

Better thermal systems and methods of bulk handling also have been developed. “In many ways, it’s the chemistry that is the environmental driver rather than the mechanical processes associated with solids control and waste management,” Ms Djuric noted.

Achieving optimal environmental standards is complicated by the myriad regulations that vary by country, state or province and even county. Offshore regulations are more standardized than onshore, but agencies such as STRONGER in the United States are working to provide a more harmonized approach to drilling waste regulations and practices. “In offshore regions where regulations are lacking, North Sea or Gulf of Mexico standards commonly apply,” Ms Djuric said. Offshore, the primary environmental concern is to protect aquatic species from the generally monitored parameters of hydrocarbons, chemical toxicity, degradation and, in some areas, bioaccumulation.

“On land, Louisiana 29B or Alberta’s Directive 50 are commonly used as a reference point. But harmonization is very difficult to achieve on land due to the wide diversity of ecosystems,” Ms Djuric explained. Depending on the location, onshore environmental compliance can range from protection of vegetation, agriculture and soil quality, to safeguarding water quality and associated aquatic species, or drinking water conservation. Metals, salts, including chlorides, hydrocarbons and chemical toxicity are the parameters typically monitored.

Thermo–mechanical cuttings cleaner is used to process oil-contaminated drilling waste. Oil and water are separated from the cuttings by mechanical and thermal treatment. Recovered oil can be re-used to fuel the machine, enabling a more sustainable process.

Even as more technologies emerge into the marketplace, managing and navigating through the regulatory environment is becoming a significant issue. “The biggest challenge will be educating regulatory bodies around the world as more technologies come into the market that allow for reuse and recycling of drilling fluids and drill cuttings,” Mr Abbott said.

In some areas, for example, wastewater must be treated and disposed of as waste even after it has been purified. “We have technologies in place for water treatment that can treat water to drinking standards, but that technology cannot be used in certain areas because a particular region’s definition of ‘beneficial reuse’ is not fully established, or because the definition of ‘waste’ is so inflexible that recycling or reuse of waste is not permitted,” Ms Djuric noted.

HCB and SupaVac are Halliburton’s trademarks, and FullCircle is Halliburton’s registered trademark.

Original Article

India: ONGC Awards Baker Hughes 5-Year Drilling, Evaluation Contract

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Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) of India has awarded Baker Hughes  a five-year contract to provide drilling and evaluation services and to manage third-party services for the Platinum Explorer drillship.

Under the terms of the contract, Baker Hughes will supply directional drilling, measurement-while-drilling, logging-while-drilling, surface logging services, drilling fluids, liner hangers, cementing and coring services. Baker Hughes also will manage third-party services for air and sea logistics, the onshore base, and wellheads. Vantage Drilling’s Platinum Explorer drillship is capable of drilling high-pressure, high- temperature (HP/HT) wells in water depths up to 10,000 feet.

ONGC currently contributes approximately 75 percent of India’s oil production and 54 percent of the country’s gas production.

“We are extremely pleased to be bringing our wealth of experience in deepwater well construction to ONGC’s operations in India’s deep waters,” notes Richard Ward, president of Asia Pacific for Baker Hughes. “The size and scope of this project provide Baker Hughes a strong foundation from which to grow our operations in India’s deepwater province. We look forward to further strengthening the relationship with ONGC by delivering increased value to their operations from our technology and service portfolio.”

Baker Hughes provides reservoir consulting, drilling, formation evaluation, completions, pressure pumping and production products and services to the worldwide oil and gas industry.

Original Article

China joint venture celebrates 25th anniversary milestone

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Thursday, 22 April 2010 09:32

In October 1984, the management of Magcobar (now M-I SWACO) and Nanhai West Oil Co. (now China Oilfield Services Ltd.) joined forces to create a drilling fluids joint venture, China Nanhai Magcobar Mud Corp. Ltd. (MCC), with the aim of delivering world class drilling fluid services to the emerging offshore drilling industry in China. Since that time, MCC has grown to become the most successful international fluids company in China, and one of the longest serving commercial joint ventures in China.


Since the first well was drilled with TOTAL in 1984 in the Beibu Gulf, the company has participated in over 1,000 wells in China in the past 25 years, including world-class extended reach wells, record high temperature wells, the deepest wells drilled in China, and is now dominating the emerging deep­water market in the South China Sea.

MCC has established offices, supply bases and laboratories throughout China and successfully deployed some of the leading fluid technologies from M-I SWACO. The UltraDril* water-base system and the FloPro* NT reservoir drill-in fluid have been excellent performers in the reactive shale and complex reservoirs of Bohai Bay, while the Rheliant* flat rheology synthetic-base drilling fluid is becoming the system of choice for deepwater operators in South China. The UltraDril system has now been used on more than 170 wells in China with the Rheliant system being used on more than 90% of the deepwater wells drilled to date in China. The Versaclean* drilling fluid system has been extremely successful for MCC, helping drill record extended reach wells. In recent times, MCC has established a foothold in the highly competitive onshore market with the MegaDril* one-drum solution.

MCC has worked throughout China, from the far west of Tarim Basin, to the northern extremes of Daqing oilfield, to the oldest and most prolific Shengli oilfield in the east, and down to the deepwater frontier in the South China Sea. Clients have included all the major national oil companies in China—the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC) and China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC)—as well as a vast array of IOCs. Current IOC clients include ConocoPhillips, Anadarko, Husky Energy, EOG Resources, Devon, amongst others.

“To become as successful as MCC has, the company has relied heavily on an outstanding team of field engineers and professionals that has continued to grow and evolve over the years,” China Country Manager David Power said. “MCC has continually invested in training and development of our field engineers since first sending engineers to mud school in Houston in 1985. Over the years MCC has trained over 130 Chinese nationals. The professionalism of the MCC team is highlighted by the current 1,700 plus days without a LTI. We currently employ more than 60 national mud engineers, and most have attended M-I SWACO mud schools in Bangkok and Houston. The MCC team is now more than 93% Chinese nationals.”

M-I SWACO recently celebrated the 25 years of continual service to the Chinese petroleum industry with gala banquets in Beijing and Shekou. Top executives from both companies, including Li Yong, COSL President; Zhang Xing Yun, COSL General Manager and Magcobar Board Chairman; David Paterson, M-I SWACO SVP Eastern Hemisphere; Max Richey, M-I SWACO SVP; and Sandy Park, Magcobar Director and M-I SWACO VP Asia Pacific, were joined by various clients and friends of MCC to celebrate this tremendous achievement.

M-I SWACO and COSL management continue to see a very bright future for MCC as China’s petroleum industry continues to surge ahead. Today more and more IOCs are competing for acreage in China and the Chinese government continues to support development of China’s domestic hydrocarbon resources, in particular the deepwater fields of South China. The team at MCC looks forward to many exciting times and rewarding challenges in the coming years.

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