Solids collection and control is a process of separating solid rock particles in the mud generated by drilling, cleaning the mud, and recovering the mud before returning it back to the system. Depending on the application and mud system used, solids collection and control equipment is comprised of:

  • Mud Tanks –  mud storage and mixing
  • Shale Shaker – separates big solids, as a first stage separation
  • Desander – separates medium sized solids
  • Desilter – separates small sized solids
  • Mud Cleaner – a combination of desander and desilter  
  • Vacuum degasser – separates the air from the mud
  • Conveyance System (auger) – transports cuttings on the rig, normally offshore 
  • Decanter Centrifuge – high-speed & variable-speed centrifuges are required when drilling fluids requires further processing to provide higher mud recovery rate and comply with stricter environmental standards. Decanter centrifuge can also recover up to 90% of barite that can be re-used. 
  • Mud Cooler – to cool the drilling fluid, mostly used in oil based mud and high temperature applications 
  • Cutting dryer – ideally vertical, this device reduces liquid content in cuttings to below the 5% mark. Shakers, mud cleaners and centrifuges would leave cuttings with a liquid content on between 10% to 15%. 
  • Dewatering Unit – allows removal of the fine solids (less than 5 microns) from the water based drilling fluids, using chemical processes.
  • Cuttings collection & transportation system – is a closed loop system providing vacuum or pneumatic powered conveyance to transport cuttings for a relatively long distance, e.g. from an offshore drilling rig to a supply vessel. 
  • Drill Cutting Boxes are small open containers / skips that are used to transport cuttings from drilling rig offshore, to the shore base for further treatment and disposal. Depending on the drilling speed, solid equipment on the rig and distance to shore, the number of skips ranges from 150 to 350 per rig.