A new perspective to clean mud tanks

Drilling activity is the process to establish communication channels for oil and gas to rush up to the ground. There must be a big number of mud tanks to support the normal progress of oil and gas drilling. Usually these mud tanks need to be cleaned, to prevent cross contamination, to prepare the tank for inspection, or simply for storage.

This task is usually done by people. Workers will wear heavy protective clothes, and use respirators, to go down inside the mud tank to clean the interior of mud tanks manually. As there is no lighting in the tank, illumination is required as well. As drilling technique is getting more and more complex, a lot of chemicals are added to drilling mud. These chemicals may be a serious thread to the workers. Confined space, potential toxic material (liquid or gas), dim environment, high temperature are big risks to people exposed to it. This inevitably give tension to people’s psychology and impact work efficiency adversely.

GN Solids Control has been involved in finding a good solution to get rid of this problem. After years of research and development work, GN Solids Control worked out the first generation of automatic tank cleaning system a few years ago. People at drilling rigs gave high appraisal to this system as it released them from difficult and dangerous cleaning environment. They also pointed out issues with the application of the system, which helped GN Solids Control to continue its R&D to make the system better.

Recently GN Solids Control released its third generation of automatic tank cleaning system. Compared to previous generations, the new system features the following:

  1. High efficiency. The new system can clean a mud tank in 20 minutes. Compared to 6 to 9 hours needed to clean a mud tank by 4 people, the new system only requires at most 2 people. This increase mud tank cleaning efficiency substantially;
  2. It minimizes worker’s exposure to difficult and confined space. All system operation needs to do is to mount the cleaning head inside mud tank and all other work will be done automatically. Some clients of this system have huge number of mud tanks to clean. They use top cover mechanism to lower cleaning head into mud tanks. This eliminates the exposure of people to risky environment.;
  3. Water consumption is minimized. Water is valuable, especially in remote area where drilling rigs are located. Drilling rigs often have very limited water supply and do not want to use their water, which is usually trucked in from far away. Manual cleaning used open loop process – flushed down slurry will be dumped and the water is wasted. This new style automatic tank cleaning system contains solids-water separation equipment, which can settle solids down efficiently and reuse the water for cleaning. It significantly reduced water consumption, the quantity of slurry dumped to the environment, and the cost to truck the slurry to recycling station & to truck in fresh water;
  4. New technology increases solid/water separation efficiency. This system can provide high flow rate to provide enough cleaning media and good pressure to wash mud tanks. If natural settling technique is used for such high flow rate, separation result can not be guaranteed. GN Solids control uses new technology which can separate solid from the slurry effective and efficiently and return clean water back to the cleaning head. Field experience shows that most of the solids are separated from slurry and cleaning quality is well secured;
  5. GN Solids Control also uses other new technology to transfer slurry from mud tanks to the cleaning system, which can not be achieved by routine technique;
  6. Automatic control. This system can also automatically control system operation to prevent dry suction or tank overflow.

There are other new technologies GN Solids Control uses to make the system do its job as is intended. Please contact us for more information and solutions for your tank cleaning needs.

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