Shift from balanced- to progressive-elliptical motion without suspending or shutting down operations.
Harsh drilling conditions in the Vaca Muerta Reservoir require high mud weight, and standard separation methods lack efficiency. The operator wanted to reduce the OOC ratio, minimize operational costs related to mud loss, decrease disposal volumes, and reduce disposal backlog at available facilities. The operator also wanted to increase sustainability and mitigate environmental impact to align with the Argentine Natural Gas Production Promotion Plan.
M-I SWACO recommended the SCREEN PULSE separator to address operational challenges. The technology was installed in two rigs and used to drill the intermediate and production sections in four wells. Both rigs were equipped with different shale shaker models that included three MONGOOSE PRO shakers in one and three conventional shakers in the other.
The SCREEN PULSE separator consists of a pulse control panel and carbon fiber drop-in pans installed under the last screen of the discharge end of the shakers to reduce fluid retention on the cuttings. This pneumatic system applies compressed air to the pan assemblies, creating a vacuum that enhances fluid recovery and cutting dryness.
M-I SWACO installed the SCREEN PULSE separator in both rigs and set up an onsite lab to monitor system efficiency. Cutting samples were taken daily at different intervals with the system on and off to capture efficiencies. The KPO was set to achieve at least 20% improvement on the OOC ratio for each well. In the four test wells, SCREEN PULSE separator reduced OOC from an average of 48% to 37%, reaching an efficiency of 23%.
The reduction in OOC led to a higher mud recovery that reached an average of 0.4 m3 of mud per cubic meter of cuttings on intermediate sections and 0.36 m3 on production sections for a total of 150 m3 of recovered mud that otherwise would have been disposed. After implementing the SCREEN PULSE separator, the operator captured a net savings of 82,000 USD (20,500 USD per well).