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Re: Oil and gas pollution prevention class project


I worked out on the rigs as a drilling engineer in my former life, so I
might be able to give you some more information if you want to contact me at
the information listed in my signature line.

As far as mud recycling goes, the oil and gas industry is already re-using
oil based muds.  These muds are cleaned as much as possible on-site going
into the pits, with the cutting solidified most often by fly-ash or
quick-lime (lime can be hazardous to workers if not handled correctly so I
liked to use the ash on my wells).  At the end of the well, the oil based
muds are returned to the mud company and you're charged for the mud you lost
and the amount of solids they have to remove.  This is why you always avoid
using oil based if you have a high risk of a lost circulation zone.  While I
was there we looked at but did not reuse water based muds.  Due to the high
levels of bentonite, the muds gel quickly.  Plus a water base dissolves
quite a bit from the formation which can affect mud properties.  There would
be a hazard to accepting water base from another site where you did not know
the drilling circumstances.  Even now as an environmental engineer, I would
not be comfortable accepting used water base.

Call me or e-mail me directly if you would like to discuss rig operations.

At 09:21 AM 3/28/97 -0500, you wrote:
>I am an Environmental Engineering student at Montana Tech.  I have a class 
>project to identify pollution prevention opportunities in the oil and gas 
>industry and to present my findings to the class.  There have been some 
>suggestions about possible water recycling (mud recycling) at operating rig 
>sites.  Is there some information about this that I can use?  Are there 
>other opportunities at existing rigs for pollution prevention? Please let me 
>know.  I can be reached at"dwpawluk@po3.mtech.edu".
>Don P.
LeAnn C. Herren
Technical Assistance Manager
Center for Environmental Policy
Institute of Public Affairs
University of South Carolina
Carolina Plaza, Columbia, S.C.  29208
P(803)777-1864  F(803)777-4575
e-mail:  herren@iopa.sc.edu