Meeting the new Gulf of Mexico NPDES environmental regulations (maximum 6.9% oil-on-cuttings), while simultaneously improving drilling performance has been achieved through the implementation of a Performance Fluids Management (PFM) process. This paper describes the creation and application of a fit-for-purpose GOM PFM process, which is a management process that integrates all fluids and waste management-related activities.

This paper will show how the new NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) regulation (maximum 6.9% oil on cuttings) was met without impacting drilling operations, while at the same time reducing costs 8 % ($3.5 million) in 2001. Key components of the PFM process include implementation of a common format for fluids management programs; establishing and defining key performance indicators; end-of-well recaps; a weekly PFM report capturing target and stretch performance measures; PFM audit process; skills assessment tools for fluids and PFM engineers; and a model to predict accurate PFM cost/volumes generated.

In order to achieve the objective of reducing the oil-on-cuttings to meet regulatory requirements, the PFM seven-step process was utilized. This process includes expectations, analysis, modeling, setting goals, planning, execution and reviews.

The reduction of oil-on-cuttings (OOC) from 14% to less than 6.9% in the GOM was a very important objective to improve the quality of the discharges to reduce environmental impact. It was very important that drilling performance should be maintained or improved.

The PFM process integrates fluids and waste management. This paper discusses the application of the PFM process.

The authors will present figures showing the following improvements:

  • Reduction in days per 10,000 ft

  • Reduction in oil-on-cuttings (OOC)

  • Reduction in downhole mud losses

  • Reduction in actual cost compared to AFE

  • Increased mud recovered

The PFM process has been implemented in Colombia, Bolivia, Argentina and Trinidad, where it delivered similar savings.

The process is applicable to wells in excess of $7 million total cost.

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