Drilling Waste Volume Estimation Basic Concept

This article provides basic concept of drilling waste volume estimation. These calculation methods can be utilized to compare and optimize the solid control equipment as well. Before I will go into the detailed formulas, I need to have a little bit more background regarding the drilling waste. When we talk about drilling waste, not only is the cuttings but it includes waste of drilling mud, cement, spacer, etc. There are several factor affecting the drilling waste volume such as hole size, solid control efficiency, formations drilled, the amount of drilling mud retained on the cuttings, the ability of drilling mud to sustain in the system, etc.

There are few terminologies that you need to understand as listed below:

Hole Volume (HV) – hole volume is typically expressed in bbl or cubic meters.

Solid Discharge (S) – volume of wet cutting discharged

Liquid Discharge (L) – unusable drilling mud is discharged when it reaches the solid content tolerance.

Efficiency of Solid Control (E) – the percentage of incoming drill solid which is removed by solid control equipment

Fraction of dry solid (Fs) – the percentage of dry solid in the cutting system and it varies from 25% to 50%.

Tolerance of Drilling Fluid to Solid Contamination (T) – It is a term that is used to express the frequency of dumping drilling mud.

Solid build up in the drilling fluid (DS) – The volume of drilled solid in the drilling mud and the dilution is the method to keep the mud in a good condition.

In the next topics, we will show some calculation regarding waste volume estimation.

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