Drilling Waste

Oil and gas producers face a significant problem with managing the waste generated in the drilling process.  A single well can produce up to 1,200 tons of waste.  This waste is comprised of drilling mud, which is injected into the well to lubricate and cool the drill head, and drill cuttings – the broken bits of rock and soil cut away in the drilling process and circulated up to the surface by the mud.

The oil content of this waste ranges from 10-30%, representing a significant cost if not recovered.  Furthermore, disposal of drilling waste is receiving intensifying scrutiny from regulators and environmental agencies.  Historically buried or landfilled, the high oil content in drilling waste has been proven detrimental to the environment.