Oilfield Centrifuge | Alfa Laval Decanter


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Oilfield Centrifuge for Drill Cuttings Separation


Solids control is an essential aspect of any oilfield drilling application. Solids control is the separation of solids generated by oilfield drilling. ‘Drill cuttings’ are separated from the fluid used to lubricate the drill.

Drilling mud is another synonym for this lubricating fluid. Reuse of drilling mud is the main purpose of effective solids control system. This leads to reduced disposal costs and need for fresh supply of drilling mud.


Operational consideration for an oilfield decanter


An oilfield decanter centrifuge is a horizontal centrifuge. It 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 is regulated to a lower g-force. This reduced speed limits the torque on the decanter gearbox. Centrifugal force in the 2,000 to 2,200 g range is enough to separate the drill cuttings.

The centrifugal force is enough to sling the solids to the bowl wall. The lighter liquid flows to the liquid end of the decanter and discharged. The auger pushes the accumulated solids on the bowl wall to the solids discharge side.

The drilling operation reuses the clarified drilling mud. The concentrated drill cuttings are sent for disposal.


Advantages of an decanter versus other technologies


A decanter centrifuge offers many advantages for oil field solids control. The separation efficiency and small footprint is the highly desirable. Oilfield decanters with less than a barrel per minute capacity have a footprint of approximately 7’ x 5’. Space restricted, small capacity drill rigs use these small footprint decanters.


Other oilfield applications for crude oil centrifuges


– Tank bottom sludge separation
– Refinery slop oil recovery
– Frac water separation

Oilfield Centrifuge Module Specifications


System includes:

  • Alfa Laval NX418 Decanter Centrifuge with VFD Controls
  • Heady Duty Pump with VFD Control
  • Electric Pre-Heater
  • Fully Automatic PLC/Touch-Screen Control Panel
  • De-sludged Oil Tank with Return Pump
  • System Sludge Auger with Gear Box and Motor

Application: 2-Phase de-sludging of Crude Oil to remove sludge from light weight (API 38) crude oil tank bottom.

Read more here about Dolphin Centrifuge’s crude oil centrifuges for sale.