New regulations in China pave way for innovative solutions

Drilling rig workers
Source: DollarPhotoClub

GN Solids Control is a Texas-headquartered company whose equipment is becoming popular among oil companies in China after Chinese government introduced new regulation for oil-based drilling cuttings in 2012.

According to the new regulations, all oil-based drilling cuttings should be treated to meet the new standard, which specifies that the oil on the cuttings must be below 1 per cent.

GN provides the drilling cuttings drying system for Greatwall drilling company to do services for Shell Sichuan project.

As a division company of China National Petroleum Corporation, Greatwall drilling company offers drilling services, and drilling fluids service as well as the drilling waste management services for Shell in Sichuan. Royal Dutch Shell is an important partner for GN Solids Control – through Greatwall – as the company is deeply involved in shale extraction in the Sichuan Basin.

The company has already committed it would to spend 1 billion dollars every year from March 2013 in developing the country’s shale gas reserves. Shell secured China’s first shale gas product sharing contract in March 2013 to develop the Sichuan block. China’s aim is to produce 6.5 billion cubic meters by 2015 and the target looks optimistic in the view of the better than expected results from its Fuling block.

GN Solids Control designed an oil-based drilling cuttings drying system for GWDC (Greatwall Drilling Company) to service Shell in Sichuan. GN Solids Control started building the cuttings drying system in the beginning of October 2014, and made the shipment in the middle of November 2014. The completed cuttings dryer system was put in operation within one week after shipment. From the feedback of Greatwall drilling company, GN cuttings dryer is able to get the oil on the cuttings down to 3.7 per cent – not entirely on target but better than the expected 5 per cent.

The Oil-Based Drilling Cuttings drying system for Shell Sichuan Project includes a GNCD930 vertical cuttings dryer, a variable speed decanter centrifuge GNLW363BG-VFD , along with feeding pumps and mud tanks. The drilling cuttings drying system is designed to handle 30 tons per hour of the OBM drilling cuttings.

GN vertical cuttings dryer is designed with an air knife system to clean the screen automatically to avoid the blinding of the screen. And the unique design of the driving system and lubrication system gives GN vertical dryer more reliability than its competitors.

GNLW363BG-VFD Decanter Centrifuge can be run at different bowl speeds with different G force. If the operator wants to separate high gravity solids, the recommended speed is around 200 RPM. If the operator wants to separate low gravity solids, the 3200RPM high speed should be applied. For the drilling fluids discharged from the cuttings dryer, normally, 2700RPM is recommended for the operation.

The drilling cuttings are transferred by two screw conveyors to the vertical cuttings dryer. The cuttings dryer recovers oil from the drilling cuttings for reuse.The oil recovered is fed to the variable speed decanter centrifuge that separates the solids from the oil. After cleaning, the oil can be used in a drilling mud system again.

To provide local services, GN Solids Control has set up subsidiaries in the USA and Russia. It also works with large mud and solids control services companies to cater to local markets.

Apart from  the drilling cuttings drying system for oil-based drilling cuttings, GN Solids Control also offers  treatment systems for water-based drilling cuttings.

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