ABSTRACT:

With ever increasing pressure on drilling performance and economics, the use of invert emulsion fluids continues to be a necessity. The advent of environmental responsibility has increased the cost and liability associated with the responsible disposal of drill cuttings contaminated with these fluids. In environmentally sensitive areas, it is unlikely that any discharges of contaminated cuttings will be permitted. In such cases other treatment methods must be found to minimize future environmental liability. Development of invert emulsion drilling fluids which are tailored to meet both the demands of high performance drilling and have chemical characteristics which can be used to optimize treatment of contaminated cuttings has been a key in minimizing environmental impact. Developing efficient treatment techniques tailored to the local environment has been equally as important. The environmental responsibility picture has been completed by combining the chemistry and treatments to produce an end product which can be beneficially re-used in the local environment. In this paper, the authors discuss the changes in drilling fluid chemistry and show the field performance of these fluids. The associated treatment techniques that can be applied will also be reviewed along with the local environmental climate required to ensure successful application of such treatments. The authors will review the potential for beneficial reuse of contaminated cuttings in this context and show results of field trials

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