What Is Slurry Injection?

Slurry injection is the culmination of decades of oilfield waste disposal experience and research. It is the best way to treat, dispose of, and contain toxic and non-toxic waste without damaging the environment while efficiently producing a dependable resource.

  • Slurry injection is the grinding and processing of solids into small particles.
  • The particles are mixed with water or other liquid to create a slurry.
  • The slurry is injected into an underground formation at high pressure to fracture the rock substrate according to a preplanned 3D model.

Slurry injection is a safe and environmentally preferable disposal method for oilfield waste when conducted at locations in suitable geological conditions and the injection process is properly managed and monitored.

Our team ensures the performance of operational procedures and scheduled testing to monitor the integrity of the wellbore.

Slurry injection is also known as slurry fracture injection(R), drill cuttings re-injection, and fracture slurry injection. We offer both annular injection and injection into a dedicated disposal well.

Injection can be continuous or intermittent, depending on your needs.

Safe, Deep Oilfield Waste Disposal

Most drill cuttings are low-toxicity, but slurry injection ensures they remain separate from environmental resources. Unlike conventional surface disposal methods, slurry injection safely deposits oilfield waste deep underground where it will pose no threat to the environmental resources we depend upon.

  • Drill cuttings are deposited below the surface, thousands of feet below usable groundwater.
  • Before slurry injection the wellbore is encased in multiple layers of steel and cemented into place, creating an impermeable wall between the wellbore and the surrounding strata.

Economical Efficiency

Slurry injection is the most cost effective method of oilfield waste disposal. Other methods require transporting waste to another location; slurry injection eliminates the expense of transport as well as the risk of an environmental spill requiring expensive clean-up and potential fines.

  • The tightening regulatory climate makes other methods of waste disposal more costly.
  • Slurry injection can meet the most stringent regulations while keeping costs down.

Expertise

Our engineers have developed and own the most advanced 3D fracture modeling tools for waste injection in the industry. Computer modeling is crucial to locating the best strata for slurry injection and to predict exactly how the rock will fracture to maintain isolation and containment.

We have published over 50 papers on injection related topics.

Types of Waste We Inject

Slurry injection allows the cleaning and reuse of drilling fluids and muds. Damaging particles are removed for further treatment. Recycled, clean mud is now available to continue protecting the drill and providing an efficient drilling process.

  • Drilling fluids and muds that lubricate and cool the drill bit and carry drill cuttings to the surface
  • Drill cuttings produced when a drill moves through rock
  • Bio-solids
  • Contaminated soils
  • Petroleum exploration and production waste
  • Other types of non-hazardous and hazardous waste can also be injected

Waste materials are separated by a vibrating screen. The liquid mud passes through the screen and is recycled. Cuttings coated with mud are stockpiled for further processing and final disposition.

Contact Advantek Waste Management Services to learn more.

Slurry Injection Library

Technical papers related to the injection of solids and slurry using hydraulic fracturing (aka, drill cuttings injection, slurry injection, slurry fractured injection, or cuttings reinjection).

  • "Feeling the Pulse of Drill Cuttings Injection Wells-A Case Study of Simulation, Monitoring, and Verification in Alaska", SPE 84156-PA, SPE Journal, Volume 12, Number 4, December 2007, pp. 458-467, 2007.

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    Abstract: In April 1998, a program for continuous deep disposal of drill cuttings and open pit materials was initiated on the North Slope of Alaska. This ongoing injection project is commonly referred to as GNI, or "Grind and Inject.?? Accumulated drilling cuttings and mud slurry are injected into a receptive Cretaceous soft sandstone in three wells: GNI-1, GNI-2, and GNI-3. Typical operations involve injecting slurry into one of the three wells continuously for a number of days and then switching injection to another well. The average injection rate is approximately 30,000 B/D. As of 30 September 2002, project injection has included 12.7×106 bbl of water, 30.9×106 bbl of slurry containing 2.0×106 tons or 2.2×106 cubic yards of excavated frozen reserve pit material and drilling solids, and 1.31×106 bbl of fluid from ongoing drilling operations.

  • "Geo-mechanics of Batch Injection in Horizontal Waste Disposal Wells, North Sea" ARMA 05-672, presented at Alaska Rocks 2005, The 40th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics (USRMS), June 25 - 29, 2005, Anchorage, AK.

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    Abstract: The disposal domain concept is arguably accepted as the prevalent storage mechanism during the batch injection of drill cuttings. The disposal domain is best thought of as an elliptical realm surrounding the well. This phenomenon is well documented by field and laboratory observations and has been addressed in previous work. Most studies and field operations have centered around vertical or near vertical wells. Rarely have horizontal wells been designed for conversion to injectors or used for disposal and therefore, the effect of batch injection and the created disposal domain have not been addressed. The current paper will provide an integrated look at the fracturing process that occurred in a horizontal disposal well. The well is located in the Valhall Field, North Sea, and offshore Norway. The well has multiple perforated intervals. The work will address a modified disposal domain concept as it applies to horizontal wells. The paper illustrates a history of the fracture nature (geometry and extent) and propagation across the various layers. Comparison of the field pressure history and the simulation results will be addressed.

    Authors: K. S. Zaki, Advantek International; T. G.Kristiansen, BP Norway; A. S.Abou-Sayed, C. W. Summers, G. G. Wang, and M. D. Sarfare, Advantek International

    Copyright 2005, Society of Petroleum Engineers

  • "Ultimate Capacity of a Disposal Well in Drilling Waste Injection Operations," paper SPE/IADC 79804 presented at the 2003 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, February 19 – 21.

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    Abstract: Drilling waste disposal through downhole hydraulic fracturing is often the preferred waste management option because it can achieve green operation and often has favorable economics. Most field situations are comprised of injection in either a dedicated well or in the annulus of an existing well. Containment of the disposed waste must be ensured and one of the questions in drilling waste injection operations is; what is the capacity of a disposal well or annular scheme? The answer to this question depends on downhole waste storage mechanisms. It is evident from laboratory simulation studies and field operation experience that multiple fractures are created in drill cuttings injection (DCI) operations and the capacity of a disposal well is much larger than that estimated from single fracture simulations. More importantly, as more solids are injected into the disposal formation, the local stress is modified. Because of this change in local stress, fracture shapes, and extents at the beginning of a DCI; operations can be significantly different from the fracture shapes and extents at the end the operation. Modeling of this fracturing evolution process is necessary and essential to ensure the safe containment of the disposed waste and to estimate accurately the disposal capacity of a drilling waste disposal well.

    Authors: Abou-Sayed, A.S., Guo, Q., and Meng, F.

    Copyright 2003, Society of Petroleum Engineers

  • "An Assessment of Economical and Environment Drivers of Sour Gas Management by Injection," SPE 97628, paper presented at the SPE International Improved Oil Recovery Conference in Asia Pacific, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5-6 December, 2005.

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    Abstract: Many of the largest fields yet to be developed around the world contain oil, water, and high concentrations of sour gas. The fact that they are still undeveloped reflects the significant political and economic hurdles they have yet to overcome. Successful production of such fields will require careful management of surface resources (land, water, and power), subsurface resources (hydrocarbons), and associated streams (produced water, non-salable products, and E&P wastes). Several fields in the Caspian Sea are awaiting full development because they are burdened by the high expected cost and severe legal and economic risks associated with high hydrogen sulphide (H2S) content. Advantek International was contracted to undertake a comparative analysis of the engineering requirements, environmental impact risks, and economics for disposal of several associated streams in a Caspian field with 20% acid gas (CO2 and H2S).

    Authors: Abou-Sayed, A.S., Zaki, K., Summers, C.

    Copyright 2005, Society of Petroleum Engineers

  • "Management of Sour Gas by Underground Injection - Assessment, Challenges and Recommendations", SPE 86605, presented at the SPE HSE Conference held in Alberta, Canada, 29-31 March 2004.

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    Abstract: Many of the world's Mega-fields (> 1 billion barrels of reserves) contain sour gas, a blend of natural gas and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), either alone or in combination with carbon dioxide (CO2). H2S gas is extremely toxic, the combination of H2S and CO2 (Acid Gas - AG), can be highly corrosive, the elemental sulphur reacts with water to form acid rain, and CO2is now recognized as a significant greenhouse gas. Where there is a demand for the natural gas, and capacity to separate the components, the H2S and CO2 can be separated out. However, these components must be managed in a cost-effect way and according to regulatory requirements to maximize recovery of hydrocarbons and minimize AG safety and environmental impacts. To date, the CO2 components have typically been vented to the atmosphere, and sulphur has been produced for industrial uses. Novel step changes are needed to handle the large sour gas volumes to be produced by the mega-fields under development in the Caspian Sea and Middle East regions.

    Authors: Abou-Sayed, A.S., Zaki, K., C. Summers, Advantek International Corporation

    Copyright 2004, Society of Petroleum Engineers