Operation Group:

1.      Drilling Technology:

a.      Conventional overbalanced drilling: Conventional overbalanced drilling is a drilling condition where the drilling fluid selected provides a pressure gradient greater than the anticipated formation pressure.

b.      Underbalanced drilling: Underbalanced drilling is a procedure used to drill oil and gas wells where the pressure in the wellbore is kept lower that the fluid pressure in the formation being drilled. Underbalanced drilling eliminates formation damage, increases the rate of penetration, reduces lost circulation, and eliminates differential sticking.

c.       Managed pressure drilling: Managed pressure drilling is a new technology that enables a driller to control annular pressures in the wellbore more precisely. Managed pressure drilling is a form of primary well control using a closed fluid system that allows a more precise control of the wellbore pressure profile.



2.      Drilling Fluid: drilling fluid is the fluid used to drill boreholes into the earth. Drilling fluids can be liquid and gaseous fluids as well as mixtures of fluids and solids to use in operations to drill boreholes for oil and gas wells.

a.      Aerated muds: Aerated mud is drilling fluid that has been injected with compressed air.

b.      Dry gas and mist

c.       Energized and foam

d.      Oil-based muds

e.      Synthetic-based muds

f.        Visco-elastic (micro-emulsion) fluids

g.      Water-based muds


[Drilling Fluid]

Referenced from http://www.airdrilling.com/images/aerated.jpg


3.      Reserve Pit: Drilling fluids that are not circulating in the active system can be stored in a reserve pit. The earthen pit provides space for solids to settle, water to evaporate and additional fluid if fluid must be pumped into the wellbore. Reserve pits are used less frequently, since environmental protection during drilling operations is a key concern.

a.      Closed loop, containers, and solid control equipment: This reserve pit set-up consists of a closed loop, containers, and equipment to manage and dispose of contaminated wastes.

b.      Lined reserve pit and solid control equipment:  This reserve pit set-up consists of a contained location designated for waste disposal, complete with lining to prevent seepage.  Reserve pit fluids are allowed to dry and the remaining solids are encapsulated with the reserve pit synthetic liner and buried in place.

c.       Open reserve pit and solid control equipment: The reserve pit set-up consists of a contained location designated for waste disposal. Pitless drilling systems are equipped with a í░chemically-enhancedí▒ centrifuge that separates drilling mud liquids from solids. The separated drilling mud solids are stored in a steel tank and then transferred to a synthetically-lined clay pad for drying. The pads are designed to prevent the runoff of any liquids. The drill cuttings are either buried on site or are transferred to an approved commercial disposal facility for disposal.

Photograph of reserve pit
[Reserve Pit]

Referenced from http://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/DisplayImage.cfm?ID=346



4.      Waste Management

a.      Bioremediation: Bioremediation is defined as any process that uses microorganisms or their enzymes to return the environment altered by contaminants to its original condition. Bioremediation can be used to degrade oil spills.



Referenced from http://library.thinkquest.org/03oct/01840/213297wb.jpg


b.      Chemical fixation and solidification: Chemical fixation transforms toxic contaminants to new, nontoxic forms. Chemical fixation required mechanical mixing or blending of reagents with the contaminated mass. Solidification results in a solid, low-permeable block of contaminated soil. Specialized, solidifying admixtures are incorporated to mechanically lock contaminants within the solidified matrix.


[Chemical Fixation]



c.       Co-composting: Co-composting is the controlled aerobic degradation of organics using more than one material, such as Faecal sludge and organic solid waste.



Referenced from http://www.akvo.org/wiki/images/thumb/8/8a/Co_composting.png/350px-Co_composting.png


d.      Composting: Composting is the controlled aerobic biological decomposition of organic matter into a stable, humus-like product called compost.



Referenced from http://www.daviddarling.info/images/composting.gif


e.      Cuttings injection: Cuttings injection is a waste disposal technique where drill cuttings and other oilfield wastes are slurried by being milled and sheared in the presence of water. The resulting slurry is then disposed by pumping it into a dedicated disposal well.


[Cuttings Injection]

Referenced from http://www.terralog.com/images/Oildiagr.jpg


f.        Evaporation and burial onsite: Evaporation and burial onsite are waste disposal techniques where the water in the drill cuttings is evaporated and the remaining wastes are placed in a designated reserve pit on site.

g.      In-situ vitrification: In-situ vitrification is a technology developed for contaminants and pollutants. In respect to soil and groundwater pollution, in-situ vitrification is a waste disposal method where soil containing the pollutant is turned into a large block of glass.


[In-situ Vitrification]

Referenced from http://www.gec.jp/SGC_DATA/EN/img/sgcfige-042.gif


h.      Land-spreading: Land-spreading is a waste disposal method where natural soil processes are used to biodegrade the organic constituents in the waste. In land-spreading, the waste can only be applied once to a parcel of land in order to preserve the subsoilí»s chemical, biological, and physical properties and limit the accumulation of contaminants in the area.

i.        Thermal desorption: Thermal desorption is an environmental remediation technology that utilizes heat to increase the volatility of contaminants such that they can be removed from the soil.


[Thermal Desorption] Referenced from http://groundwaterprogram.army.mil/community/facts/thermal_desorption_1_02.jpg


j.        Plasma arc: Plasma arc technology is a waste disposal method that uses electrical energy and high temperatures created by an electrical arc gasifier. The arc is used to break down the waste into elemental gas and solid waste in a device called the plasma converter. This method reduces the volume of waste to be disposed.


[Plasma Arc Technology] Referenced from http://adferoafferro.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/gas-plasma-incineration-diag.jpg

 Works Cited (Operation Group)

"Co-composting - Akvopedia." Akvo.org - See it happen. Web. 01 Mar. 2010. <http://www.akvo.org/wiki/index.php/Co-composting>.

"Composting -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 01 Mar. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composting>.

"Drilling Engineering -." Google Books. Web. 28 Feb. 2010. <http://books.google.com/books?id=eseViO982VgC&pg=PA38&lpg=PA38&dq=overbalanced+drilling&source=bl&ots=D7myk-xqtk&sig=yS19Tktds3cc-hr28PUI_Vi5NAU&hl=en&ei=zzuLS4PmKcef8AbaxK2dDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CBYQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=overbalanced%20drilling&f=false>.

"Drilling Fluid Definition in Oil Gas Glossary." Oil Gas Technical Terms Glossary | OilGasGlossary.com. Web. 02 Mar. 2010. <http://oilgasglossary.com/drilling-fluid.html>.

"Drilling Waste Management Fact Sheet: Land Application." Web. 01 Mar. 2010. <http://web.ead.anl.gov/dwm/techdesc/land/index.cfm>.

"In Situ Vitrification." The Charles Edward Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Web. 01 Mar. 2010. <http://www.cee.vt.edu/ewr/environmental/teach/gwprimer/vitrify/index.html>.

"Managed pressure drilling techniques and tools." Repository. Web. 01 Mar. 2010. <http://repository.tamu.edu/handle/1969.1/3884>.

National Engineering Handbook Composting (2000): 2-1-10. Print.

"Photograph of Reserve Pit." Schlumberger Oilfield Glossary. Web. 02 Mar. 2010. <http://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/DisplayImage.cfm?ID=346>.

"Plasma arc waste disposal -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 01 Mar. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_arc_waste_disposal>.

"Reserve Pits." Google. Web. 01 Mar. 2010. <>.

Rogers, J.D., Knoll, B., Haut, R., Mcdole, B. & Deskins, G., 2006. Assessments of Technologies for Environmentally Friendly Drilling Project: Land-Based Operations. Texas A&M University Environmentally Friendly Drilling report.

"Stabilization, Solidification, & Chemical Fixation - MARCOR Environmental, LP." MARCOR Environmental, LP. - Remediation contracting services since 1980. Web. 01 Mar. 2010. <http://www.marcor.com/index.cfm/do/services.display/alias/stabilization-solidification-chemical-fixation>.

"Thermal desorption -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 01 Mar. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_desorption>.

"Underbalanced drilling -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 01 Mar. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underbalanced_drilling>.

"What Is Bioremediation?" Automation in Microbiology and Biosciences. Web. 01 Mar. 2010.