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Case Study: Premier Oil Reduces Total Pit-Cleaning Time by 90%, Slop Waste Generation by 56% Offshore UK

ATC automatic tank-cleaning technology improves efficiency while reducing personnel confined-space time, North Sea

Challenge: Reduce personnel confined-space time, overall pit-cleaning time, and volume of wastewater created while cleaning the tanks of a semisubmersible rig in the UK sector of the North Sea.

Solution: Deploy the ATC automatic tank-cleaning technology.

Result:

  • Decreased slop waste generated by 56%.
  • Reduced confined-space entry time logged.
  • Reduced total pit-cleaning time by 90%.

Reduce HSE risk and time requirements for tank cleaning 

For performing pit cleaning onboard the Ocean Valiant semisubmersible rig in the UK sector of the North Sea, Premier Oil has historically used traditional tank-cleaning methods, including high-pressure washers and vacuum units to clean the rig tanks between changing drilling fluids. This process is not only time consuming but also heavily relies on personnel confined-space time and generates large volumes of waste washwater, which then have to be properly disposed of at a significant expense.

Deploy automatic solution for tank cleaning 

After consulting with Premier Oil about its objectives, M-I SWACO recommended using the ATC automatic tank-cleaning technology, which comprises a skid-mounted washwater recycling unit and programmable tank-cleaning machines (TCMs) that can be deployed on hard-to-reach areas. The technology requires only 7 m3 [44 bbl] of washwater, which is continuously cleaned and recycled throughout the cleaning process for reduced wastewater generation.  

As a result, the technology delivers significant reductions in personnel confined-space time, overall pit-cleaning time, and the volume of wastewater and slop created compared with the traditional methods used in past pit-cleaning operations.

Significantly reduced slop waste and pit-cleaning time without compromising HSE quality 

ATC technology was rigged up and cleaned six pits in 56 hours, representing a 90% reduction in cleaning time compared with previous operations using traditional tank-cleaning methods. Only one hour of confined-space time was necessary to place the TCMs in one of the tanks. A fixed volume of 7 m3 of washwater with 1% surfactant was used during the cleaning job. By deploying the ATC technology, Premier Oil achieved a 56% reduction in wastewater generation compared with the cleaning method previously used.


Download: Premier Oil Reduces Total Pit-Cleaning Time by 90%, Slop Waste Generation by 56% Offshore UK (0.17 MB PDF)

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