Performance Report: Haynesville Shale, RHE-USE Cuts Operator’s Mud-Related Costs More Than $300,000

Challenge: The operator was prepared to drill a well in Desoto, LA where persistent low-gravity solids (LGS) had resulted in extremely high drilling waste haul-off and disposal costs and increased potential environmental liabilities. Additionally, the inability to remove LGS and deliver a clean fluid restricted drilling performance, further increasing well construction costs.

Solution: Solids control / waste management specialists from M-I SWACO, A Schlumberger Company, recommended the operator employ their new-generation RHE-USE process to completely remove LGS to enhance drilling efficiency and reduce disposal costs. The patent-pending, chemically-enhanced technology had previously field-proven its capacity to optimize drilling while delivering cuttings suitable for onsite disposal. The RHE-USE process was used in a 5,947-ft (1,813 m) interval from 10,830 to 16,777 ft TD (3,301-5,114 m) with a mechanical solids control configuration comprised of an M-I SWACO 414 barite centrifuge, a CD-500 high-speed centrifuge, dual Meerkat shakers, slurry tanks and pre-mix tanks.

Result: Including the reduction in the days vs. depth curve during drilling, the RHE-USE process netted the operator an estimated $209,482 savings in mud-related costs. The well was drilled in 12 days using an oil-base drilling fluid with a hole volume of approximately 277 bbl generated throughout the process based on the use of a 6¾-in bit and 5% washout. To previously maintain 2.5% LGS, the necessary 100% dilution would have required 27,484 bbl of dilution. By contrast, using RHE-USE technology required only 687 bbl of dilution.

A total of 783 bbl of effluent was used for the RHE-USE process. This material typically would have been sent to an off-site disposal site. Instead RHE-USE technology enabled the 783 bbl to be treated and thereby generated 885 bbl of reusable oil-base drilling fluid. In addition, maintaining a mud with significantly less LGS helped keep the down-hole motor and bit cleaner while reducing down-hole mud temperatures by 30-50°, thereby lowering abrasion and permitting longer drilling without having the trip out of the hole to perform maintenance.

Download: Haynesville Shale, RHE-USE Cuts Operator’s Mud-Related Costs More Than $300,000 (0.74 MB PDF)

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