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Environmental requirements for operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), when drilling with oil-based drilling fluids, favor use of an enclosed system for solids control. Personnel working with shale shakers are often exposed to base oil mist and vapor at an unacceptable level.
A concept using rotating separators as an alternative to shale shakers was developed to reduce this exposure. Drilling fluid with cuttings from the mud line is fed into a slowly rotating separator that forces the cuttings to move over a large, effective screen area with screens of selected sizes. The drilling fluid is removed efficiently from the cuttings, while the area underneath the screen is slightly vacuumed.
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