ONS 2016: Cubility improves transportation of drilling waste with CubeLink


Norwegian-based Cubility AS, a provider of solids control solutions, has launched an innovative new technology that dramatically improves the transportation of drilling waste, CubeLink.

CubeLink, developed in close partnership with Norwegian operator Statoil, safely and cost-effectively transports drilling waste directly from shale shakers or Cubility’s own MudCube solids control system to a storage unit or final processing unit on a drilling rig.

The system is targeted at North Sea offshore drilling contractors and oil companies who are looking to make their rigs more efficient in handling cuttings (particularly dry cuttings), facilitate the transportation of cuttings from their drilling facilities, improve HSE, and reduce waste handling and drilling fluid costs. CubeLink can also be used onshore.

Even Gjesdal, CEO of Cubility, said, “For many years, existing technologies have struggled to transport drilling waste, due to the variety in the consistency of the cuttings and challenges such as transporting dry cutting through a plugged screw conveyor and/or plugged blower/vacuum system. This has had an inevitable impact of both costs and HSE.

“No longer. By bringing a disruptive technology to the market, such as the CubeLink, we aim to revolutionize the drilling waste management market through cleaner, safer and more cost-effective waste.”

The CubeLink is based on an existing technology utilized in food processing and has been commercialized by Cubility and Ellegaard Components A/S with support from Statoil.

With CubeLink, drilling contractors and operators can handle dry and moist drilling waste horizontally and vertically as well as access crucial, real-time information on the weight, volume and degree of moisture in the cuttings. Such information will lead to an increase in well stability and volume control.

CubeLink enables the extraction of mud from cuttings through an absorption feature, thereby reducing the weight of waste to be skipped, shipped and destroyed and bringing considerable cost savings—especially when taking waste to shore.

The system can also handle all waste capacity levels and all types of drilling waste—whether with high liquid content or dry consistency—over long distances (where there are complicated sequences or changes in direction in horizontal and vertical planes, for example). Cubelink will also eliminate the need to use mud to prime the conveyor, bringing significant cost savings.

Finally, there are significant HSE benefits to North Sea operators through a drop-belt (pouch) configuration that avoids spillages of harmful waste and odour/gases; the reduction of drilling waste at landfill; reduced personnel exposure to fumes, noise and vibration; and low energy consumption.

CubeLink consists of a recurring belt shaped in a drop-belt configuration. The system opens up in a U-shape in the feeding station to receive drilling waste that is fed by gravity from one or several shakers or MudCubes into the feeding station. The belt is then closed and routed to the destination. The belt opens up and returns flat over a turning roller where the drilling waste drops by gravity into a receptacle—a skip for example.

Cubility AS is an innovative Norwegian company that is revolutionizing drilling operations and the solids control issues that accompany them. Cubility is based in Sandnes, Norway, where it houses a state-of-the-art test center, and has sales offices in Aberdeen, Houston, London and Kuala Lumpur as well as distribution partners across all the major oil & gas producing regions.

The MudCube is the industry’s first compact solids control system that eliminates the traditional process of shaking fluid and solids. The improved separation capabilities of the MudCube leads to better quality mud, fewer chemicals required to maintain its properties, more mud recycled back to the mud tanks to be reused for drilling, and ‘cleaner’ and less waste.

To date, Cubility has secured contracts for the MudCube in North Sea, Middle East, Far East, South American and North American drilling sites offshore and onshore.

The new system has been deployed on a number of high profile fields, particularly offshore in the Norwegian Continental Shelf. In one such installation on the Maersk Giant rig—a jackup based in the North Sea—the new system replaced four traditional shale shakers, leading to improved drilling efficiencies with less drilling fluid being lost; more returned to the mud tanks for reuse; and a significant reduction in costs.

In 2015, Cubility signed a multi-million-dollar deal for Johan Sverdrup field, one of the most important industrial projects in Norway over the next 50 years. In this case, the MudCube system will provide the operator Statoil with improved drilling fluid quality, lower mud consumption, reduced waste volumes and improved HSE.

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