Contaminated drilling fluids and mud are a considerable potential hazard to the sensitive marine ecosystem. The appropriate process treats the contaminated fluids and muds sufficiently so that by the end of the process, purified and thus unpolluted water can be discharged into the environment. This task is performed by the high-speed decanters and clarifiers from GEA Westfalia Separator Group.
Drilling fluids are understood to be viscous emulsions which are circulated through the drilling pipe during drilling for crude oil in order to pump the milled product upwards at the same time as the oil. These emulsions rapidly become contaminated with mud, salt water and oil residues. This means that the drilling fluids have to be continuously cleaned to ensure a smooth drilling process. The contaminated fluids are also a hazard to the sea, however, so continuous treatment is all the more important.
Once the drilling fluids have passed through a coarse screen and had a flocculant and a flush liquid added, the coarser solids are separated off by a decanter of the appropriate output. The liquid phase is initially passed to a slop oil tank. A clarifier from GEA Westfalia Separator Group then separates the fine residual solids so that the liquid phase can be discharged into the environment in the form of pure water after passing through a protective filter. This complies with the “zero emission” philosophy in an exemplary manner.
To treat drilling mud rich in solids, GEA Westfalia Separator Group has also developed special high-speed decanters which, in the form of the GEA Westfalia Separator ecoforce generation, work efficiently on drilling platforms and FPSOs.