Ever more restrictive regulations have necessitated minimal impact drilling procedures that have led to the development of a variety of methods for the disposal of liquid drilling waste. Current Alaska regulations severely limit the use of reserve pits other than in an emergency situation for the disposal of liquid phase waste. Current efforts are being directed at minimizing liquid discharges while conserving water and maximizing solids control efficiency.
This paper presents a case history of a recent project on Alaska's North Slope where operator requirements and logistics necessitated on site dewatering of drilling fluids. A retrofitted chemically enhanced centrifuge was utilized for this process. The design, fabrication, operations, and economics are summarized. The conclusions should prove beneficial for future planning of restricted discharge drilling operations such as will be necessary should Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge be opened to drilling.