In 1997 BP was operating an 11 rig drilling operation, onshore in the Casanare region of Colombia. A decision to introduce indirect thermal desorption technology to treat oil based drilling cuttings to improve environmental performance had been made the previous year. A consequence of this decision was very high waste management costs and a strain on the environmental controls at the wellsite owing to the inability to process oily wastes at sufficient rates. Evaluation of the underlying causes of these problems revealed significant inefficiencies in fluids and waste management and solids control. The whole process of drilling fluids and waste management was re-evaluated in the light of these experiences and steps taken to radically reduce the cost of the operations and the environmental impact by reducing waste. In 1998 The ’Total Fluids Management’ process was adopted which has resulted in reduced overall costs of fluids and waste-related activities together with an improved environmental performance through a like-for-like reduction in oily wastes of 41% compared to the 1997 benchmark. This paper describes the Total Fluids Management process and the experiences from its’ application by BP in Colombia.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.