Performance Report: Oman: Middle East Meets MD-3 Shale Shaker and Puts on an Impressive Performance

Challenge: To quantify the performance and cost benefits of the MD-3 shale shaker, compared to conventional shale shakers under the ever-changing drilling conditions and requirements, an aggressive comparative field trial was undertaken on the rig. The field test represented the first use of the MD-3 shaker onshore in the Middle East.

Solution: To acquire full performance data for comparison against previous data from past wells, two MD-3 shale shakers replaced the three non M-I SWACO shakers. The objectives of the comparison were:

  • Test the flow handling capacity of the MD-3 shale shaker compared to the rig’s previous shakers.
  • Prepare a qualitative assessment of the solids handling and conveyance capacity of the MD-3 shale shaker compared to the previous shakers.
  • Test and record oil on cuttings (OOC) rates and total surface losses.
  • Measure the screen life of the MD-3 shaker and compare it to the per well screen usage of the previous shakers and historical MD-3 screen usage data.

Result: During the duration of the exploration well the MD-3 shakers utilized six different screen sizes on the primary decks. These ranged from API70 (120XR) to API140 (230XR) and were tested for various lengths of time to compare capacity, OOC% and screen life. In total, the two MD-3 shakers used a combined 151 screens, of which only four were scrapped due to wear and the remaining 147 screens returned to the used inventory container.

The total planned well time, from rigging down on the previous well on location to completion was 162 days for the planned 16,568 ft (5,050 m) exploration well. Even with the time to install and rig up the MD-3 shakers, the total rig up time was recorded at 0.4 days over the plan. Once the shakers were installed, the time needed to complete the well was only 125.75 days, a time savings of 36.25 days, or 78% of time needed compared to plan.

In the 16,568 ft (5,050 m) well, there were 2,799 bbls (445 m³) of drill cuttings removed from the well (considering 0% washout). Counting the four scrapped screens and the 36 screens on the shakers at completions, only 40 total screens were consumed. The past screen consumption data from previous/similar exploration wells was 115 screens per well for the three rig shakers. The MD-3 DURAFLO screen, on average, processed 287% more cuttings before being defined as “consumed.”

The ability to process the full planned flow rate with the MD-3 shakers installed was extremely beneficial. At the start of the 12¼ in interval, a single MD-3 shaker was able to process the entire circulating volume of the well with ROP rates from 50 – 197 ft/hr (15 – 60 m/hr) and flow rates of 872 – 925 gpm (3,300 – 3,500 lpm) while utilizing API120 (200XR) DURAFLO screens. While utilizing the MD-3 shaker and the generously available screening area for this well, the rig did not experience any whole mud losses due to screens overflowing.

The user friendly and efficient design of the MD-3 shakers permitted rig crew and testing technicians to quickly change out and inspect screens. Screen deck adjustability was utilized throughout the well for adjusting the beach (drying area) on the primary deck screen with just the push of a button.

The overall performance of the MD-3 shakers during the comparative field trial effectively validated its operational and economic advantages. During the trial in the 12¼ in interval, a single MD-3 shaker was able to efficiently and effectively handle the entire circulating volume with the same or higher API designation screen as had been used on the three previously installed shakers.

Download: Oman: Middle East Meets MD-3 Shale Shaker and Puts on an Impressive Performance (0.31 MB PDF)

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"The MD-3 shale shaker performed even better than I had expected, especially when combined with the DURAFLO composite screen technology. The ability to change the deck angle and motion selection on the MD-3 shaker is key to operating a shaker at the highest efficiency.”
Adrian Longley
Technical Service Manager