Case Study: VSAT Team Gains Screen Sales on California Rig

Challenge: Oxy Company Representative Gary Sherman requested a VIBRATORY SYSTEMS ANALYSIS TESTING (VSAT) program be performed to assist in identifying the cause for the high volume of a competitors screens used on previous and current wells. Rapid cell deterioration on the screens used was determined to be unacceptable since no explanation could be provided by competitor service personnel. Coupled with the increasing screen usage and cost per well, a solution was desperately needed.


The VSAT team immediately responded and provided the customer with the much needed answers. After evaluating the screen damage, the VSAT team determined that a much deeper evaluation would be needed to find the root cause of the screen failure.

A thorough evaluation of the flow line shakers revealed improperly maintained deck rubbers, missing fluid deflector plates, damaged or worn screen deck’s, damaged cords, etc. After informing the operator of the required repairs, the VSAT team demonstrated best practice maintenance for screens and shakers emphasizing on the importance of a properly maintained system.

A Motion Analysis Test was conducted to determine if the competitor shaker’s vibratory system was still operating within factory specification. Finally, a detailed report was compiled for the customer and operator highlighting good and bad maintenance practices.

Result: Proven field knowledge from M-I SWACO on shakers and screens has proven that screening up and maintaining processing rates are possible. Additionally M-I SWACO was awarded the screen contract for the rig after demonstrating that the M-I SWACO BHX-C screen was far superior to the competitor’s screen, reducing operating costs and screen consumption by nearly 80%.


  • November 2010: M-I SWACO meets with customer to explain the purpose of the evaluation.
  • Once on site, VSAT team members identify and address items of concern.
  • After observing screen and equipment maintenance, recommendations are provided to rig personnel.
  • A Motion Analysis Test was conducted on all three shakers to evaluate performance indicators.
  • Best practice recommendations were provided to rig personnel describing proper screen selection and maintenance, shaker deck angle adjustment and shaker maintenance.
  • M-I SWACO was awarded screen sales on the rig.

Download: VSAT Team Gains Screen Sales on California Rig (0.23 MB PDF)

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"After the initial screen up, we only used four screens to drill out 9,700 ft as compared to the competitor’s 21 screens on the previous well."
Gary Sherman
Occidental representative