We designed one of the first ever drill cuttings injection projects in the country and across the globe.

Drill Cuttings Injection

Allowable discharge limits have been tightened, leaving the industry to find a cost-effective and safe method for disposal of drill cuttings that are delivered to the surface in the drilling mud.

Drill cuttings injection is a zero discharge solution.

  • Allows continued use of oil-based mud
  • Weather independent
  • Most cost-effective method of drill cuttings disposal
  • Permanently disposes of waste with no future liabilities or cost

Benefits

By re-injecting drill cuttings, you have a self-contained drilling and waste stream disposal that starts and ends at the well bore.

  • The only permanent onsite disposal method that is completely compliant with the requirements for zero discharge to the surface environment.
  • Returns cuttings to their native environment.
  • Handles high volumes of drill cuttings that keep up with the fastest rates of drilling.
  • No extra equipment needed onsite to move cuttings.

Drill cuttings are made of the rock strata the drill moves through: sandstone, dolomite, shale, limestone, coal, and more.

How It Works

Drilling mud controls the subsurface pressure, lubricates the bit, stabilizes the well bore, and carries the cuttings to the surface. The cuttings are placed into a slurry and re-injected into a layer of rock strata, creating a fractured formation to contain the waste and eliminate seepage to potable water resources.

  • Drill cuttings are removed from the drilling fluid with conventional solids controls.
  • Cuttings are separated from the mud by vibrating screens or shale shakers.
  • Cuttings are made into small particles and added to a slurry container.
  • Drill cuttings are re-injected into the annular space or into a dedicated well.

Shaking and Processing

Cuttings are delivered to the surface within the liquid waste and must be separated from it and sorted by size for further processing. Vibration and shaker screens with different size filters efficiently and effectively distribute particles to the correct treatment.

  • Primary and secondary shakers sort cuttings by size for further processing.
  • Hydrocyclone-type desilters and desanders remover fine solids.
  • Rotary bowl decanting centrifuges remove more particles.
  • Further treatment is provided by high gravitational separation, vertical or horizontal rotary cutting dryers, and screw-type squeeze presses.

Softer cuttings from hydrate-able shale are placed in a modified centrifugal pump to reduce the particle size via high shear rate.

Hard cuttings are processed by a mechanical grinder to produce particles of 100 microns or smaller.

Safe Disposal

All operations and equipment are monitored by dedicated supervision by experienced personnel.

Safety is our number one concern; safety for the environment, the workers, and the public. Our commitment to safe disposal of all wastes is unrelenting.

  • We use formations free of natural fractures or faults that could communicate the slurry to the surface or other formations that hold potable water.
  • Seismic data and fracture modeling is used to help identify vertical fracturing that could initiate project failure.
  • We review mechanical property logs. Cores, leak-off tests, pore pressure, mud logs, and other data for offset wells to aid in restricting slurry re-injection plumes.

Drilling cuttings injection is high in fluid loss and minimizes the impact on the formation.