Urban Setting Presents Haul Off and Disposal Challenges for Gulf Coast Operator
A Texas Gulf Coast operator had plans to drill a well within the city limits of Galena Park, Texas (just east of Houston city limits). This setting made it imperative that there were no environmental or safety issues with any part of the drilling operations, especially the haul off and disposal of the excess fluids and drill cuttings. Minimizing truck traffic was also a concern, and the routes had to be carefully planned to successfully traverse city streets on the way to the disposal site.
This urban setting, inside city limits, meant no room for error in the drilling operation or with disposal of fluids and cuttings.
Panther had supplied an integrated drilling fluid package to this operator on several wells in the past. This previous experience and well-earned confidence were major factors in selecting Panther for work in this sensitive location. Panther supplied a package that included mud products (additives and chemicals), solids control, a closed-loop system, and haul off and disposal services.
Panther worked with the drilling team to determine the best location for the solids control system and equipment set up within the confines of the drilling footprint in the urban setting. They also determined the best route for truck access to pick up the cuttings at the rig site.
The directional well was drilled to the Yegua Sandstone formation with heavy 16.9 lb/gal water-based mud. Large amounts of additives were used to keep the mud within the drilling plan. The well was drilled to the planned depth of 11,834 ft with a bottom hole pressure of 9,000 psi and temperature of 235°F. Panther was able to react to varying well conditions, temperature, pressure and the heavy mud weight so all the drilling objectives were met. The operator drilled a successful well, and a good quality borehole allowed the well to be logged and evaluated efficiently.
As mentioned, the disposal of drill cuttings and excess fluid was important. The solids control system kept up with the drilling plan and separated the chemicals and fluid from the cuttings as designed. The cuttings could be disposed of safely while the chemical-laden fluids could be returned to the active mud system. Transporting the cuttings was also critical as the route to the disposal site had to be maneuvered through city streets and on a route for truck traffic. The operator reported that “Panther was diligent about sourcing the best location for disposal, being both cost-effective but making sure the site adhered to all environmental regulations and had all permits in place.”
Well objectives were met so the formation could be logged and evaluated efficiently.
Panther sourced the best disposal site and made sure of the best route for truck traffic through busy city streets.
Panther scheduled and managed haul off and disposal operations allowing the operator to focus on drilling the well.
No safety or environmental issues were encountered – a must in this busy, urban environment.