The goal of modern solids control systems is to reduce overall well costs by prompt, efficient removal of drilled solids while minimizing the loss of liquids. Since the size of drilled solids varies greatly from cuttings larger than one inch in diameter to sub-micron size several types of equipment may be used depending upon the specific situation. The fundamental purpose for solids removal equipment is just that remove drilled solids.
The efficiency of solids removal equipment and/or systems used can be evaluated in two ways:
1) Efficiency of drilled solids removal
2) Efficiency of liquid conservation
The greater percentage of drilled solids removed, the higher the removal efficiency. The higher the solids fraction of the waste stream, the better. Both aspects should be considered.
Modern drilling rigs may be equipped with many different types of mechanical solids removal devices depending on the application and requirements of a particular project. Each device has a specific function in the solids control process. Equipment commonly utilized and the effective removal range for each are listed in the following diagram.