Case Study: Oklahoma Operator Cuts Drilling Waste by Two-Thirds Using SCREEN PULSE Separator

Fluid and cuttings separator recovers 51.3 bbl of oil-base mud, saves USD 6,000, and reduces drilling waste by 16,547 lbm

Challenge: Reduce drilling waste and disposal costs by improving cuttings treatment and fluid recovery.

Solution: Optimize the fluid-recovery capability of existing shakers by using the SCREEN PULSE fluid and cuttings separator in a 7-day field trial on two Derrick Flo-Line Cleaner (FLC) 504 Series shakers.


  • Recovered 51.3 bbl of oil-base drilling fluid.
  • Saved USD 6,000 through better fluid recovery and lower disposal costs.
  • Reduced drilling waste by 16,547 lbm.
  • Decreased mud on cuttings (MOC) by 29%.
  • Reduced waste by two-thirds, lowering land farming disposal costs.

Optimize drilling waste management

An operator in Oklahoma wanted to optimize drilling efficiency, minimize HSE risk, and reduce the high costs of drilling waste during a horizontal drilling campaign. After using water-base mud for the surface and intermediate sections, it switched to MEGADRIL oil-base temperature-stable invert-emulsion drilling fluid system for the production section. The operator wanted to recirculate as much of this mud as possible—losing mud over Derrick FLC 500 Series shakers not only increased drilling fluid costs by requiring additional fluid but also increased disposal costs by increasing the weight and volume of oil-wet cuttings. The disposal process involved adding mass quantities of lime to dry and stabilize drilling waste and transporting cuttings from the rig to the disposal site.

Use pulsating technology to improve fluid recovery

M-I SWACO proposed installing the SCREEN PULSE fluid and cuttings separator in conjunction with DURAFLO composite replacement screens for a 7-day trial period on two Derrick FLC 504 shakers. The SCREEN PULSE separator enhances shaker performance and aids drilling fluid recovery by creating a pulsing suction effect under the screen surface to recover fluid that would otherwise be discharged with the cuttings. In addition, it is entirely air operated to minimize the risk of spark or combustion hazards near the flowline. M-I SWACO collected cutting samples every day to ensure consistent, accurate data comparison for solids analysis.

Oklahoma Operator Cuts Drilling Waste by Two-Thirds Using SCREEN PULSE Separator

With SCREEN PULSE separator turned on (left) the operator witnessed a 29% reduction of fluid discharged.

Reduced drilling waste by two-thirds, saved USD 6,000

By using the SCREEN PULSE fluid and cuttings separator for the D500, the operator was able to meet drilling objectives while reducing drilling fluid losses and associated disposal costs for oil-wet cuttings. The innovative separator reduced MOC by 29%, recovering a total of 51.3 bbl during the 7-day period. Total waste was reduced by 16,547 lbm—a third of the previous waste produced. By minimizing fluid retention on cuttings, the operator was able to recirculate costly drilling fluid and minimize drilling waste, contributing to a savings of approximately USD 6,000 in fluid costs and disposal fees.

Download: Oklahoma Operator Cuts Drilling Waste by Two-Thirds Using SCREEN PULSE Separator (0.40 MB PDF)

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