Trenchless drilling is one of the fastest growing areas for shale shaker use other than in drilling oil and gas wells. Many of these shakers are used in conjunction with hydrocyclones, creating a mud cleaner.
Microtunneling has become very popular in Europe and is being used more and more in the United States. Microtunneling is horizontal boring of a large-diameter hole (from 27 inches up to 10 feet) while
simultaneously laying pipe. This is typically done in cities for laying or replacing water and sewer pipe under buildings and heavily traveled roads.
To prepare for these operations, large-diameter vertical holes, or caissons,are excavated so that the drilling equipment and hydraulic rams are set up at the desired depth. The caisson is excavated slightly below
the equipment level, creating a sump for the returned drilling fluid and associated drilled solids. The returns are pumped to the surface by a submersible pump to a compact solids-removal system, which typically consists of a shale shaker and mud cleaner mounted over a small tank.
2. River Crossing
To run a pipeline under a river, a small-diameter hole is directionally
drilled under the riverbed. The pipe for the pipeline is attached to the
end of the drill string and pulled back under the river while a larger
hole to accommodate the pipe is back reamed.
During the laying of large-diameter pipelines, a substantial solidscontrol
system must be set up with multiple shakers, desanders, desilters,
and centrifuges. Mud cleaners reduce drilling-fluid disposal volumes.
3. Road Crossing
Pipelines or cables often need to cross under roads. Drilling beneath a
road does not disrupt traffic or destroy the road surface. Frequently,
the hole volume is small enough that no solids-removal equipment is
used. If drilling-fluid accumulation could cause a problem, or for largediameter holes and wide roadbeds, a shaker or mud cleaner is used.
4. Fiber-Optic Cables
The laying of fiber-optic cables does not require large-diameter holes,
and it is often done in residential or business areas where drilling fluid
and drilled solids must be contained. Solids-control systems for this
application usually consist of only a small tank, pump package, and