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Oil and Gas - Drilling Rig Operations Process

Following are a set of P2 options you may wish to implement. No option is perfect for everyone, but sometimes options that have worked at one facility can work at yours. They might also serve as inspiration.

Reviewed Oil and Gas - Drilling Rig Operations Options

Following are a list of options that have been reviewed by pollution prevention specialists. These options have worked at other facilities and may work at yours.


Test lubricating oil to extend use

  • Test oil and extend its use based on wear versus accumulated operating hours [Note: Some oil suppliers offer free testing.]
  • Recycle in-process whenever possible.

Incorporate good housekeeping

Incorporate good housekeeping to prevent spills.

Contain spilled fuel

Contain spill as soon as possible.

Use specific drilling cuttings

  • Minimize drilling hole size when possible.
  • Design and monitor drilling mud activities to minimize caving.

Sustitute oil-based drill cuttings

Substitute organic additives, polymers, or biodegradable additives for oil-based mud to reduce costs associated with cleanup of oil-based drill cuttings.

Use alternative mud and additives

  • Use a closed-loop mud system.
  • Use the reserve pit management system. Optimize solids control.
    • Use low solids, non-dispersed muds.
    • Use unused additives at other sites.

Manage mud and additives

  • Control inventory (accurately estimate amounts required and purchase only as needed), and plan ahead to avoid unused materials.
  • Use unused additives at other sites.

Use wiping tool

Use and inside diameter wiping tool for drill pipe.

Use lead free pipe dope

Choose biodegradable, lead free pipe dope. Purchase only what is needed.

Use durable drill bits.

Purchase highly durable drill bits.

Manage surplus casing

For surplus casing, purchase and use only what is needed. Use surplus at other sites.

Manage cement/grout

Purchase and use only what is needed. Use any surplus cement for erosion prevention. Then return any unused dry cement to vendor.

Minimize water production

  • Use a closed-loop drilling fluid system.
  • Drill horizontal wells to minimize water production.
  • Optimize production rate to minimize the influx of water.

Use produced water to test equipment

Hydro-test pipelines, equipment, and tanks with produced water.

Treat produce water with polymers

Treat the producing formation with polymers that decrease the permeability of water, while maintaining the permeability of hydrocarbons.

Reuse drums and containers

Reuse drums and containers, clean (triple rinse) first only if necessary.

Substitute solvents to clean equipment

Substitute non-hazardous biodegradable surfactants (soap) for hazardous solvents (mineral spirits) to clean equipment.

Reuse collected cleaning solvent

Use drip pans to collect solvent for reuse (use dirty solvent for initial cleaning and clean solvent for final cleaning, if necessary).

Minimize cleaning rags

  • Maintain equipment and facilities so that cleanup with rags is minimized.
  • Segregate from other waste, and wash for reuse.

Store and maintain chemicals properly

Store and maintain chemicals properly to prevent spills or leaks.

Surplus chemicals management

  • Control inventory by accurately estimating amounts required, or purchasing smaller quantities only as needed.
  • Offer (or exchange) unused chemicals to other facilities in lieu of recycling, treatment, or disposal.
  • Use non-hazardous products.

Reuse rigwash water

Remove paint solids from water and reuse.

Use high pressure hose nozzles for rigwash

Use low-volume, high pressure hose nozzles with automatic cutoffs.

Manage paint purchases

Purchase only the required amount and use it all before it becomes unusable.

Paint only when and where necessary

  • Size the paint batch according to the specific job.
  • Purchase highly durable paints.
  • Control and reduce over-spray.

Reduce sandblast media

  • Use paints that do not require sandblasting.
  • Use as aggregate in road mix, if allowable.

Manage litter and debris

Rent rollaway trash trailer at drill site. Dispose of trash as needed.

Find Options for other processes

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