Due to the great amount of horizontal drilling activity in the Pearsall Field, a tremendous volume of drilling waste is generated. Because of the quantity and cost of this waste, Oryx Energy Company has established a Pit Management System(PMS). The purpose of the Pit Management System is to facilitate improved handling of drilling waste associated with horizontal wells in the Pearsall Field. The program utilizes designated drilling foremen in strictly location, maintenance and cleanup roles. The field application of the pit management system has provided drilling personnel the ability to minimize drilling wastes without compromising drilling operations in the Pearsall Field. The effectiveness of the system has been evaluated by comparing disposal volumes and costs for wells without a PMS to wells drilled using such a system.

The PMS has resulted in a significant reduction in waste volumes and waste disposal costs. It’s use has minimized the effects of the various drilling conditions experienced in the Pearsall Field. It can be seen that the PMS is a viable consideration for dealing with drilling wastes. It has reduced waste volumes, lowered handling and disposal costs, while not compromising drilling operations. It has encouraged and produced innovative ideas from field and office personnel resulting in improved methods of handling waste.

A PMS can be used wherever a reserve pit can be built. It is a relatively simple, but flexible, method to minimize waste generation and reduce costs.

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