Horizontal Drill-in Fluid Reclamation for Re-use or Waste Minimization Field Trial for Shell Auger Project

Due to the high cost and logistical concerns of drilling open holes in the geopressured arena, Shell began looking at ways facilitate this option. Most horizontal drill-in fluids, regardless of density, are discharged if they meet environmental regulations. In the geopressure fluid densities, these fluids have a lot of value residing in the base brine which can be comparable to, or even more valuable than the base for synthetic fluids. This practice is not only costly, but in the heavier fluids, they have environmental implications as well. Working closely with Reclamation Solutions and MI Drilling Fluids we came up with a process that would both reduce environmental impact give us back a fluid that could be reused. The new process has been developed that incorporates both conventional and new technologies to reclaim these types of fluids back to original specifications which have value to both Shell and MI. This process is known as CENTRIFLUX. Depending upon the solids content and/or characteristics of the waste fluid, a mechanical pretreatment phase involves both decanting and high speed disc centrifuges that jointly remove solids above 1-5 micron. The ultrafiltration phase removes the remaining suspended solids above 0.1 micron by circulating the fluid through a SCEPTER stainless steel membrane module. This ultrafiltration removes both polymer and starch residue which have been a problem in the past. The solids removed by the CENTRIFLUX process are transferred for disposal and the quality of the reclaimed base fluid meets or exceeds original specifications and can be used again.

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