Oilfield Centrifuge for Drilling Cuttings Application
Solids control is an essential aspect of any oilfield drilling application. Solids control implies removal of solids generated by the drilling activity (drill cuttings) from the fluid used to lubricate the drill. Drilling mud is another synonym for this lubricating fluid. Effective solids control allows the drilling mud to be reused which in turn leads to reduced disposal costs and need for fresh supply of drilling mud. Crude oil centrifuges have other applications such as tank bottom sludge, refinery slop, frac water recovery etc.
Working and operational consideration for an drilling mud decanter.
An oilfield decanter centrifuge is a horizontal centrifuge which uses mechanical separation to separate the heavy solids from the drilling lubricant. The decanter centrifuge produces a centrifugal force of up-to 3,000 times that of gravity (or 3,000 g). Given the high density of drill solids, the decanter speed needs to be regulated to a lower g-force to limit the torque on the decanter gearbox. Typically, centrifugal force in the 2,000 to 2,200 g range is sufficient to pull out the drill cuttings without excessive torque on the gearbox.
The centrifugal force is sufficient to sling the solids to the bowl wall. The relatively lighter liquid flows to the liquid end of the decanter to be discharged. The accumulated solids on the bowl wall are scraped by the auger to the solids discharge side to be ejected.
The clarified drilling mud can be reused in the drilling operation. The separated drill cuttings are disposed.
Advantages of an decanter versus other separation technologies
The main advantage of a decanter centrifuge for drilling solids control is the separation efficiency and small footprint. Oilfield decanters with less than a barrel per minute, have a footprint of approximately 7’ x 5’. This relatively small space requirement allows it be used for space restricted, small capacity drill rigs.
Oilfield Centrifuge Module Specifications
- Alfa Laval NX418 Decanter Centrifuge with VFD Controls
- Heady Duty Mud Pump with VFD Control
- Fully Automatic PLC/Touch-Screen Control Panel
- De-sludged Mud Tank with Return Pump
- System Sludge Auger with Gear Box and Motor
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