Drilling fluid maintenance costs can decrease greatly when proper solids control techniques are utilized. From a fluid control standpoint, it would be desirable in most cases to remove all drilled solids. Although this is possible with the use of chemical enhancement prior to separation, it is not always the most economical approach. The goal of a solids control system is to achieve the balance between mechanical solids separation and dilution that will result in drill solids being maintained at an acceptable level with the minimum cost.
A field method for measuring solids sizes on the job. It is simple and easy to use and should improve the efficiency of solids control. There will be some sacrifice in accuracy; however, only the relative weight percentage distribution of the particles is needed to allow constructive steps to remove these particles.
Weighted muds are the ones that contain weighting materials. These mud systems are usually used for drilling at deeper depths because of increasing formation pressures. The typical composition of weighted clay/water mud is active clay, and inert solids like barite are used for enhancing the mud weight. As mentioned earlier, the mud arriving at the surface from the bottom while drilling is in progress contains active and inactive drilled solids. Hence, the low gravity solids must be removed first, using a screen, because their disintegration reduces the particle size to less than that of barite or in the similar range. This may cause a loss of costly barite if the mud is subjected to solids control. Once the larger particles are removed the mud must be passed through mud cleaner, where the hydrocyclones are used in series with screens. This system works best for muds with density less than 15.0 lbm/gal.