Waste is an inevitable part of most industrial processes, including drilling. Drilling waste can be classified as either solid or liquid waste. Liquid wastes are usually injected, but solid drilling waste is almost always managed at the surface. There are various disposal methods used throughout the United States for solid drilling waste, but very few methods are able to reduce costs and create value. Several companies have attempted to recycle solid drilling waste, but most have fallen short in being able produce a material that is environmentally safe, creates valuable, and reduces costs. In many cases, these “recycling” processes are considered to be a sham according to the U.S.E.P.A. definitions. Fortunately, there are ways to legitimately recycle solid drilling waste, turning an otherwise worthless material with potential negative impacts to human health and the environment into a valuable asset that can reduce costs, eliminate impacts to the environment, and create value to support future oil and gas operations. This presentation will detail legitimate technologies that have been developed for recycling drilling waste, discuss the value that can be created, and share some experiences and issues associated with sham recycling to help attendees avoid potential pitfalls that may be encountered.

Primary Author/Presenter:
Jeffrey Tyson, P.E.
Process Controls Engineer
Scott Energy Technologies LLC
Longview, Texas