The oil and gas sector is a vital resource not only in North America but globally. The straining demand for these resources is increasing as developed nations continue to grow and developing nations thrive and enjoy prosperity and new amenities.
In response, the oil and gas industry has endeavoredto meet the challenge of these increasing demands by not only increasing activity, but improving efficiencies and developing more effective methods of drilling and extraction.
However, the public and industry are becoming much more critical of the environmental impact of the drilling process and as a result, beginning to change aging industry practices. Fortunately, as this essential industry advances, so does the technology within and surrounding it.
Drilling cuttings or waste is a byproduct of a drilling a well, often has an significant environmental impact. In an effort to provide an economical and efficient solution to drilling waste management, Fuse Enviro has developed the RecoverTankTM. This innovative system effectively recovers large volumes of oil or synthetic based drilling fluid from the waste product for immediate re-use, and returns processed material with a fractional amounts of fluid remaining.
The environmental impact of the RecoverTankTM is substantial, not only by the reduction of hazardous waste material, but also the outreaching impact. This impact extends beyond the recovering of drilling fluid and into other areas affected by the drilling process both directly and indirectly. To appreciate the entire effect we must consider all of the impacted areas outlined below.
Note: Given the unique set of variables surrounding drilling programs, it is necessary to use compiled averages to assist us in factoring in the efficiency calculations seen below. The figures provided offer an annual representation.
The use of synthetic based (SBM) or oil based mud’s (OBM) is an essential practice. It provides unique and critical characteristics which allows drilling in the most challenging formations and conditions. The consideration with OBM is that it uses diesel as a base fluid. The RecoverTankTM was designed to reduce the liquid retained on the drill cuttings waste product.
As a result, each working RecoverTankTM is responsible for diverting an average of 1,250,000 L3 of OBM or SBM away from landfills annually .
Stabilization material (sawdust, peat, etc.)
With conventional drilling practices, wet waste material requires further mixing with an absorbent material used to prevent liquid from separating and leaking while in transport to landfill. The absorbing mixing material required to stabilize this volume of waste is 130 loads or 682500 kg of sawdust/peat annually, which does not include the losses due to wet weather. With the use of sawdust and wood chips in the manufacturing of furniture, partial board, heating pellets, etc., this once abundant lumber mill waste product can be in short supply needs to be created to meet demand. The processed material produced by the RecoverTankTM most often does not require any further mixing.
The use of mud additives is essential to developing an effective mud system, however these additives are often quite toxic and almost always hazardous. Unfortunately waste material includes the consequent loss of these additives and chemicals. We estimate an average of 9 loads per RecoverTankTM annually are recovered and reused.
Alternatives to Water Based Drilling Mud
Our advances in efficient environmental technologies delivers an economical option to reduce the dependency on water based mud systems, further reducing the industries consumption.
Having less volume to dispose of, systematically results in fewer trucks on the road. This reduction in the amount of heavy traffic on highways has both positive economic and environmental impact for everyone. Based on demonstrated performance, we estimate that each RecoverTankTM is able to recover over 43 truck loads of drill fluid annually.
As a result, the reduction of losses in conjunction with providing a much cleaner waste product results in much greater efficiencies. We can add the total of vehicles attached to this change.
- 43 trucks coming off of the highways to replenish these losses.
- A further 120 loads of stabilization material required to mix with this waste material.
- 9 loads of drilling mud additives recovered with the drill fluid
- 95 loads of disposal material.
What this means is that an average annual reduction of 267 large vehicles hauling predominantly hazardous material for each RecoverTankTM in operation. This total does not reflect the increased number of trucks required to haul during periods of weight restrictions, such as road bans and poor lease road conditions.
The additional benefits are less heavy vehicles, which means reduced road and highway maintenance costs.
The “omission of emission” from this traffic and improved highway safety.