The volume and type of solids in a drilling mud system can adversely affect mud properties, reduce penetration rates, cause damage to drilling equipment, and increase total drilling costs. Efficiency controlling the solids content of the mud system is an important phase of an efficient and cost-effective drilling program. The three basic methods of removing solids are dilution and/or displacement of whole mud, settling and mechanical solids-control equipment.
Proper application and utilization of mechanical solids control equipment enables the driller to maintain the desired drilling fluid properties which in turn makes it possible for the drilling operation to be carried out in an efficient and possible for the drilling operation to be carried out in an efficient and economical manner.
This section provides additional thoughts and considerations concerning solids-control equipment. The practical operational guidelines for equipment discussed here may not apply to all drilling applications. These guidelines (in italics) were developed as part of API RP 13C. The discussion beneath each captures some of the comments by committee members as they debated the guideline before approval.