Shell Exploration and Production Company (SEPCo) initiated the Rig Waste Reduction Pilot Project in 2001 to further its goals toward Sustainable Development. SEPCo ran the pilot project on two contract drilling rigs and a drilling and production platform. After characterizing and measuring the waste streams, 26 potential waste reduction strategies were considered for implementation. A preferential hierarchy for consideration was used: reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, and dispose. SEPCo found that its drilling discharges and non-hazardous oilfield waste (NOW) comprised the lion's share of the total waste and therefore represented the greatest opportunity for reduction. SEPCo used a combination of solids control efficiency, cuttings dryer technology, and new bulk mixing technology to reduce mud use by up to 20% and mud component packaging by up to 90%. Solid waste (consumables and trash) also comprised a large volume of waste. SEPCo implemented a sorting, compaction, and recycling process for this waste stream to reduce landfill disposal. This paper describes the process used by SEPCo to develop the pilot project, the strategies implemented, and the effectiveness of those strategies.
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