Drilling waste management is a vast and systematic process. After shale shaker extracts drilling cuttings from the mines and after the extraction of fluids from the cuttings, whatever is left is considered as drilling wastes . These wastes are required to be decontaminated by processing the wastes in various equipments.
After all the processing, the most important issue needs to be handled regarding drilling waste management. The issue is determining the waste disposal option. It is the end stage of the total drilling waste management. An environment friendly waste disposal method must be followed in order to calm down all the controversy and criticism regarding environmental sustainability.
Here a brief discussion about the drilling waste disposal options is given below.
How the drilling waste should be disposed? A very common disposal method of drilling waste is land spray while drilling. In this method, the drilling waste is sprayed by using a pump. This method of disposal is very effective for fluid based drilling waste. It is very cost effective.
Another effective way of disposing drilling waste is pumping off the waste. In this process, the non – radioactive clear fluid of waste is pumped in a green planting area. It is very sustainable way of disposal as it ensures the best use of natural elements. Another vastly used approach for waste disposition is the mix – bury approach. In this method, a mixture is created by using drilling waste with mud of disposing area. Above the mixture of those two components, a single layer of soil is used to cover the mixture.
It is also a very environment friendly way of waste disposition as it causes minimum contamination. Finally, another way of disposing the drilling waste is using separate waste disposal sumps. In this method, several waste sumps are built for disposing different types of waste. It is the formal waste disposal system of drilling companies.
Drilling waste management is one of the most frequent duties that should be performed in any drilling area. A skilled management system must be developed for the drilling waste management.
If any drilling company fails to perform certain sustainable procedure while drilling waste, it is certain to face the eye of the storm for the lack of competency in managing drilling waste. So, in order to solve this problem, a very approach has been taken by the drillers all around the world.
They have developed a certain agenda of fundamental procedure for drilling and disposing the drilling waste in an environment friendly way. This is called the oil and gas handbook for drilling waste management. Now, here is a brief discussion about the handbook of drilling waste management is given below.
The handbook of drilling waste management: According to the handbook in order to manage shale shaker generated oil and gas drilling waste, the construction and functioning of any commercial offshore waste management site, an application should be placed in front of the Environmental Bureau and to the oil conservation division.
A drilling company must confirm a financial assurance before establishing any waste management and disposal site in the area. Surface waste management facilities must only handle the non – intoxicating waste so that it can’t cause any environmental degradation.
There should be different approaches for managing different kinds of waste depending on their contaminating and radio activity level. The professionals that are responsible for managing the drilling waste must be certified and well trained. Drilling sites must not expose any intoxicating waste to the environment in any circumstance. After gathering waste from shale shaker, shaker screen there should be a proper and an extensive procedure to decontaminate the drilling waste right before the disposal.
Finally, the handbook for waste management provides the necessary and valuable guideline to the drillers for a sustainable waste management.
Drilling waste management companies – Kosun offer Oil and Gas handbook for gives a set of rules that must be followed to manage Drilling waste. It is available on requesting Oil and Gas Commission (OGC).
Drilling waste management companies told you that, it is important to first separate the mixture of solid and the drilling fluids. The drilling fluid that is obtained can be reused. The solids that are obtained must be either disposed of in an eco-friendly manner or can be used in some particular places.
Some the standard rules that must be adopted to minimize waste are:
1] Drilling Waste Containment:
• The waste obtained from drilling must be properly contained either in a sump (earthen hole) or good quality tanks.
• There must be proper record of how the drilling waste is stored and how is it disposed.
• It must not be mixed with other wastes.
2] Suitable Disposal Sites:
• The site where the waste is doing to be disposed must suitable and must not cause pollution.
• The suitability of the sites is soil is assessed and its salinity is measured.
• Any toxic waste cannot be disposed. These types of wastes needs to be treated.
• There are many reasons that can make the waste toxic, like, corrosion inhibitors, emulsifiers, lubricants, de foaming agents and even some type of bacteria.
3] Disposal Methods:
• There are many ways of disposing the waste of different kind.
• For water based mud systems, there are disposal options such as on- site disposal options and off-site disposal options.
4] Wastes from pipelines:
• When drilling a pipeline for fresh water or drilling a freshwater well, the drilling waste that is obtained here can be managed in many ways like, storage pits where pits are formed in soils and other off-site disposal options such as land spraying and land spraying while drilling.
Every process that is initiated has its outcomes. Oil drilling basically involves boring into the ground and penetrating rock by use of specially designed tools. During drilling, the rotary drill bit grinds downwards penetrating layers of rock. In the process, large rocks cuttings that have been broken up result. These rock cuttings are called drill cuttings. The process of drilling, separating and directing drilling fluid to the down-hole creates drill cuttings which are drilling waste.
However, drilling waste are not limited to drill cuttings alone. They involve
• Muds that have been so degraded that they can no longer be rejuvenated by recycling, but need to be disposed of.
• Mud that is discarded or spilled.
• Solid laden wet mud and cuttings that have been separated from the drilling fluid without having been recycled and are not useful for recycling.
• Solids that are removed by centrifuges from the mud stream.
Synthetic Based Muds (SBM) drill cleaner holes with minimal sloughing and produce less drill cuttings thereby generating less waste unlike the Water Base Muds (WBM). Most of the Oil Based Muds (OBM) and SBM are recycled and therefore minimize drilling fluid which reduces waste.
Wastage is a normal consequence of the drilling process. Drilling involves extracting the desired end product from a mass of other unwanted products such as sand, silt, fibres, drill cuttings and mud. Because the process involves drilling fluid and mud, the mass of waste is usually a wet mixture. If these unwanted products mix with the drilling fluid they will contaminate it and bring the process to nothing at inception. The use of Solid Based Mud (SBM) and Oil Based Mud (OBM) is recommended because they are less pollutant than the Water Based Mud (WBM) which cannot be recycled. It is important that companies adhere to the regulations governing drilling waste management.