Vertical cuttings dryer use the centrifugal force to separate the oil from the drilling cuttings generated during oil extraction process from an oil well. The drilling cuttings are the waste product generated in large volume in drilling operations.
They are gaining popularity worldwide due to their capacity to separate oil from the solid waste that could be measured as ROC (retained oil on cuttings) or OOC (oil on cuttings). They are said to recover as much as 15% of the volume of the total waste. This not only saves the environmental damage but results into unintended loss of oil and economy of operations.
The way a vertical cutting dryer works could be understood in these simple steps –
A. The drilling waste is churned using centrifugal force generated by mechanical rotation that results into separating of oil from solid.
B. The drilling cutting generated solid waste is eliminated using sieve basket and scrapper.
C. The liquid thus extracted is carried through pipes to a separate tank for further treatment and solid remains in the basket
D. Then the dried solid waste is discharge to a separate container for further disposal.
The drill cuttings thus separated by cutting dryer from drilling liquid forms large part of the drilling waste and needs to be disposed off safely to prevent the contamination of environment.
Drilling waste treatment was not given much importance in earlier period when drilling operations came into existence but the scenario changed rapidly off late beginning early 1980s in wake of damaging impact of un-thoughtful disposal methods used by companies. The oil and gas industry has become more aware of their responsibility toward the environmental wellbeing thanks to number of protests by local people where such damages were evident and intervened by regulatory authorities thereafter.
Since then the technological advancement has played significant role in improving the drilling operations and their environmental footprints. Vertical Cutting Dryers are one such significant development in that direction.