Industry Article: Drilling Waste Management

Publication: Oilfield Technology
Volume: December
Issue: 2012
Publication Date: 12/01/2012

A multidisciplinary evaluation has established subsurface injection as a viable and sustainable methodology for managing drilling wastes generated at Kazakhstan’s giant Karachaganak gas-condensate field. In the Former Soviet Union the highly engineered subsurface injection of solid and liquid drilling waste was applied successfully. Consequently, operator Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. (KPO) considered the technology as a drilling waste management solution for its field in Northwestern Kazakhstan. To evaluate its feasibility, KPO initiated an all-inclusive study that included a subsurface investigation to identify a suitable geologic repository domain with corresponding hydraulic fracture simulations to confirm waste containment within the targeted injection levels. Once the potential injection formations were identified, industry ‘best practices’ and an evaluation of subsurface fracture pressures were considered to determine the injection parameters, surface equipment capacity and applicable pressure ratings. The study included the climate-intensive design of equipment and facilities capable of safely handling drilling waste volumes.

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