Several of the processes used to reduce the environmental impact of drilling are counter—productive. They can increase drilling cost and often worsen the waste disposal problem rather than solving or relieving it. Two-stage centrifugation is probably the worst of these processes. The trends toward total reliance on shale shakers for solids control, and the return of the liquid portion of hydroclone underflow to the system, in unweighted muds, are also very troublesome.

This paper reviews the importance of solids control and its relevance to waste management, discusses closed mud systems and other methods of handling drilling fluid waste, and reviews the proper design, installation, and monitoring of the solids removal system.

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