RHE-USE Fluid Processing System

Overview Library

Oil-base fluid treatment process enables reuse of expensive fluids

The RHE-USE process is a patent-pending technology that allows operators to reuse invert emulsion drilling fluids over multiple wells without relying on reclamation through high rates of dilution. The process treats oil-base drilling fluid, reducing solids below 1% while drilling.

Before the introduction of the RHE-USE technology, combating the build-up of ultra-fine, low-gravity solids required the use of dual centrifuges and dilution. With the RHE-USE process, staged centrifugation accompanied by chemically enhanced treatment renders both LGS and drill solids manageable. The system can easily be adjusted to produce relatively ‘dry’ cuttings, reducing drilling wastes.

Combined mechanical/chemical process removes low gravity solids

Conventional mechanical separation methods are unable to extract ultra-fine low-gravity solids from an oil-base drilling fluid, requiring operators to dump the expensive fluid. The chemically enhanced RHE-USE process has been field-proven returns the fluid to the loop at the same weight as the mud was originally built. After the mud is run over the drying shakers, a low-speed centrifuge makes a separation then returns the barite slurry with the large LGS particles back to the mud system. This slurry is adjusted to match the original mud weight.

The liquid phase from the low-speed centrifuge is run to an effluent tank where it is polished using a mid-speed centrifuge. Base fluid is added until the target volume is met. Then the fluid is passed through the high-speed centrifuge and the RHE-USE chemicals are added to further remove the LGS. By delivering clean fluid, RHE-USE technology also dramatically improves drilling performance.

Reduced waste equals reduced well cost

The RHE-USE process delivers tremendous savings in mud-related costs, including reducing the amount of solids-laden fluids transported for disposal. By reducing the amount of LGS in the fluid, the RHE-USE process also reduces the amount of dilution required to return the drilling fluid to a usable state. This saves on resources, such as barite, base fluids and chemicals associated with building invert emulsion drilling fluids. High quality barite is increasingly scarce and expensive. The RHE-USE process enables operators to reduce the quantity of barite and other materials in their fluid systems, providing 25-30% savings.

Simple process using readily available equipment

Using the readily available CD-500 centrifuge, the RHE-USE process makes a separation of the fluid from the LGS using low speed centrifugal separation. The slurry is then balanced to match the weight of the mud system. Once the slurry is in the effluent tank, it is pumped to the high speed centrifuge, which is typically set at around 2,400 rpm. Base fluid may be added at this point to help lower the plastic viscosity. A second pass in the centrifuge, this time at 2,900 rpm, mechanically cleans the effluent prior to the chemical stage.

Then a single tote chemical that contains dual surfactants and a polymer in a water-based carrier is added. Once the cuttings are water-wet, they develop a charge. The polymer envelops them and causes the ultrafine solids to grow to a size that is readily removable by a final pass through the high speed centrifuge at 2,900 rpm, resulting in a fluid that can be returned to the main drilling fluid system free of low gravity solids.

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RHE-USE Saves Operator an Estimated $163,282

By using the RHE-USE process, the operator saved an estimated $163,282, including the recovery of 1,045 bbl of reusable oil-base drilling fluid through the use of dual MEERKAT drying shakers. Read case study

RHE-USE Process Eliminates LGS Worries

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