Since that is unlikely in the near future, the settling tank is extremely important. If the shaker screen were always adequate, never developed a tear that passed oversize solids through, never had to be bypassed during drilling, etc., the major justification for a settling tank (or “shale trap,” or “sand trap”) would disappear. Some information has been published on the subject, but the following points are cardinal:
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.