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John Gallio May 22, 2020

Solids Control – Understanding Critical Components to Improve the Drilling Process

Solids control within the drilling program is an important but often overlooked part of the well construction process. Having a good solids control program in place minimizes overall operational costs by:

  • Helping lower fluid dilution rates
  • Reducing the volume of required additives
  • Improving drilling fluid/mud properties, allowing higher flow rates
  • Extending the life of the drilling fluid

Additionally, a sound solids control program and supporting solids control company will help achieve environmental and regulatory compliance, an important issue in many regions today.

A solids control system contains many components, some of which are standard on the rig, while others are added for specific well conditions and drilling environment. However, the system must be the right fit for the rig and work efficiently with the operator’s drilling program. Each component must be evaluated for efficiency and to make sure it will complement the existing rig system. For example, the centrifuges must be properly sized to match the fluid rates.

As solids progress through the drilling mud circulation system, the different components, (example: shaker screen), - separate and remove the solids according to size. Good mud equipment conditioning can remove most solids, down to the smallest particle, and the re-conditioned, clean mud can be reused in the drilling process while the solids are hauled away from the wellsite and disposed.

This article, published a few years ago in American Oil & Gas Reporter, covers drilling fluids technology, equipment and best practices and explains several new solutions that are redefining today’s drilling fluids program.

Today’s system may include instrumented surface measuring of the fluids system that provide automated monitoring of the circulating system and solids control equipment. If set up and managed properly, you can get the most benefits from your fluids system and be sure that you have an effective solids control program in place. The next phase in solids control is the introduction of a closed-loop system for increased environmental control and reduced risk of drilling fluids spills. A closed-loop system can eliminate the need for a conventional reserve pit and can further reduce waste management costs.

If you are unsure how effective your solids control program is, not certain if you have the right equipment on site, or are wondering if your wellsite processes need review, contact the solids control experts at Panther Fluids Management. Our system designs are backed by years of experience and have consistently lowered overall mud costs for clients. We consult with the operator to design the best fluids system for each well; including everything from discrete services like mud and screens to fluids engineering to complex closed-loop systems for solids control to haul-off and disposal. More importantly, we understand the total fluids life cycle and can prepare for many contingencies based on well conditions. Contact Panther Fluids Management today for the latest in drilling fluids technology.  

John Gallio

EVP of Business Development