A significant cost issue is related to solids control ant the affiliated waste production during drilling. This cost issue includes the reduced drilling efficiency due to poor solids control when the drilling fluid temperature is low. The primary solids control device is the shale shakers. The preferred shakers have two or three decks that all separate particles from the drilling fluid. Especially when the temperature is low, the flow through the screens on these shakers is limited leading to a large discharge of drilling fluid along with the drilled cuttings.
To increase the efficiency of the shakers a new header box is developed that change the direction of the drilling fluid entering the shakers top deck. On several North Sea operations this device has successfully been used to divert the flow onto the entire top deck screen. This made it possible to run the equipment with finer screens than usual; leading to operating with cleaner drilling fluids than usual and thereby faster drilling rate at the same time as the occupational hygiene in the shaker room was significantly improved. The paper describes in detail how the shakers were modified with the header box and how the shakers were run to optimise drilling performance even when the drilling fluid was cold.