Solids control in oil and gas production is the process of removing solids in drilling fluid. The solids control industry is a sub-sector of oil field services that provides equipment, supplies, chemicals, technological expertise and labor to help reduce waste and proceed as efficiently as possible.
Solids Control in Oil & Gas
Oil waste is inevitable, within any activity, but there's not necessarily an issue so much with the waste itself as how it can be dealt with. Technology has been instrumental to helping the oil and gas industry and even so with its waste production and industrial chemical cleaning.
Depending on the source, solids control also includes sludge removal from producing wells. During directional drilling, mining and other drilling operations, the solids control process has direct implications for the integrity of any wellbore, which are vital during all other phases of oil or natural gas production.
Solids control is an essential part of oil production. It allows drillers to recycle the drilling mud, save costs and reduces environmental impacts. By implementing a Solids Control System or program, solid control companies minimize operational costs by:
- Achieve environmental compliance
- Allowing for fluid to flow at higher rates
- Prolonging the life of drilling fluid
- Reduce the rate of diluted fluid
- Reduce the volume of additives required
Solids Control Systems
A solids control system is an installation of several solid-liquid separators used in a series. The function of the solids control system is to remove suspended material from a liquid, such as oil or water or processing wastewater.
- Mud tank: Mixes and stores drilling mud
- Shale shaker: Removes large solids
- Hydrocyclones: Speeds up the settling process
- Centrifugal pumps: Provides feed pressure and volume to operate the hydrocyclone
- Desander: Removes medium-sized solids
- Desilter: Removes small-sized solids
- Vacuum degasser: Removes air from mud
- Conveyance system: Transports cuttings
- Centrifuge: Centrifuges recover barite and complies with environmental standards
- Mud cooler
- Cuttings dryer: Removes moisture from cuttings
- Dewatering: Removes fine solids
- Containers: Holds cuttings for transport
Decanter centrifuges are great tools since they can separate solids and liquids, and have become essential components of water waste facilities and the chemical, oil and gas drilling, manufacturing, dredging industry, and food processing industries, as well as the hemp manufacturing industry. Moreover, without centrifuges, many companies would become so inefficient that they could not function.
There are several types of decanter centrifuges currently utilized in the oil and gas industry, the most common of which are vertical, horizontal and conveyor centrifuges. The principle behind a decanter centrifuge is based on the theory of gravitational separation.
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