TWMA, the global leader in integrated drilling waste management solutions, working for an operator in South Texas has prevented thousands of barrels of drill cuttings and associated fluids from being transported to landfills as part of a project that could lead to rapid expansion in the region.
TWMA was contracted by Chesapeake Energy Corporation to provide the operator with a cost effective and sustainable solution for treating non-aqueous drilling fluid (NADF) contaminated drill cuttings during drilling operations in the Eagle Ford shale area of south Texas.
Before TWMA was awarded the project, the NADF contaminated drill cuttings were being transported to disposal or landfill sites, involving significant logistics operations over long distances.
In May 2012, a TWMA TCC RotoTruck and operations team were deployed to multiple rig locations to demonstrate the technology’s capability in treating drill cuttings and the associated fluids at source, and the results were remarkable. The process removed non-aqueous base fluid (NABF) from the cuttings outfall to a very acceptable 0.0123% average total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) (tested in accordance with the Texas Railroad Commission), which is far below local discharge requirements.
“Chesapeake recognizes safety, public health and protection of the environment as our top priorities across our operations,” said Rob Jones, Chesapeake Drilling Manager. “Minimizing our environmental footprint has always been an objective for us. Utilizing TWMA’s services has shown us that drill cuttings can be treated effectively at source, which as well as reducing the environmental impact associated with our drilling activities also offered us significant cost savings.”
By early June, the TWMA TCC RotoTruck unit was deployed to service multiple operations, moving from well pad to well pad. Since the start of the project, TWMA has processed upwards of 3,500 tons of NADF cuttings, recovering more than 3,000 barrels of NABF for reuse in the drilling fluids which would have otherwise been sent to landfill.
The $1.5 million project will last six to nine months and could lead to full deployment of up to 10 TWMA TCC RotoTruck units in south Texas.
“TWMA has long been seen as a leader in Europe, but now we are being recognized in America for the unique way we handle and treat drill cuttings and the fluids associated with it,” says Ian Nicolson, TWMA’s Vice President of the Americas. “This project is a great success, and we are excited about continuing to grow the operation in this region.”
TWMA is leading the way in advanced sustainable solutions for treating drill cuttings and associated fluids at source. No other company is providing U.S. operators with an equivalent service.
Along with the obvious environmental advantage, use of the TWMA TCC RotoTruck provided a significant financial benefit. The TWMA TCC RotoTruck recovered all of the NABF (99.5+%) from the NADF cuttings outfall, which to date has led to 3190 bbls base oil being returned to the operator for reuse.
The recovered NABF contained little or no solids, representing 100 percent efficiency from material processed. Traditional solids control equipment such as drying shakers, centrifugal dryers, and decanting centrifuges for drying are not required; all NABF accompanying cuttings outfall is recovered by the TCC RotoTruck thermal process as clean NABF.
Another added benefit of this solution is, due to the ability of the process to clean the material and remove all NABF, the remaining solids, which exit the system as a dry powder can be disposed of onsite along with the recovered water. This process has no environmental impact and eliminates the costs and safety risks associated with transporting oily material over long distances for ultimate disposable in landfill sites.
TWMA has recently launched an expansion into the United States and the company is now manufacturing its own TWMA TCC RotoTruck and TWMA TCC RotoMill units at its new Houston base.
TWMA announces successful outcome for work with Chesapeake in Eagle Ford