Clariant Oil Services Provides Best in Class Vessel Deoiling and Cleaning System
- Removal of 95% to 100% of oil and production residues, minimizing further manual intervention
- Volume required was less than one-third of incumbent treatment, providing savings on logistical and operational costs
- Prevents formation of emulsions, allowing rapid clean-up and trouble- free operations
- Recovered and recycled wash tailings, providing a zero waste solution at work site
An independent operator commissioned Clariant Oil Services to work with its drilling and well test contractor in the UK sector of the North Sea to provide a best-in-class cleaning system for its mud pits and mud handling system. After a very successful cleaning application in the mud handling system, Clariant Oil Services’ SURFTREAT 12005 was also used to clean the well test package that was used to process a heavy and viscous oil.
This unique oilfield produces a crude oil that is <16°API with a viscosity of >500 cP at standard conditions. This resulted in very challenging clean-up conditions in the standard mud holding tank that was heavily contaminated with heavy oil-soaked cuttings and drilling mud.
In order to test the efficacy of cleaning products, 50g of the heavy oil-contaminated sludge was bottle tested using a mechanical shaker. Then 50g of various cleaning solutions containing 5% of the active material (with the exception of the solvent-based treatments – 2-butoxyethanol) was added to each bottle, including the incumbent product used by the rig for lighter crude oil. The bottles were shaken for five minutes with the cleaning solutions. The cleaning solutions were removed from the bottles by decanting (see Figures 1 and 2 below). All testing took place at ambient temperature.
SURFTREAT 12005 can be seen to give the best results in terms of wettability modification, mobilization of the residual oil and excellent flocculation of the solids, allowing mobilization and separation from the heavy oil.
Figure 1: Before treating with the cleaner. All bottles contained the same volume of oily sludge residuals.
Figure 2: Post-cleaning test results. Left to right: standard incumbent product, SURFTREAT 12005, APG formulation, blank (water), 2-butoxyethanol (neat), TROS ESP 2000 (neat).
Clariant Oil Services Solutions and Value Delivered
The operator used a 10% dilution of SURFTREAT 12005 in seawater for cleaning operations. Using a once-through flush of the mud pits, mud handling system and well test processing system, SURFTREAT 12005 was able to remove all hydrocarbon and drilling mud residues from the contaminated surfaces.
The product was made up in the mud pits and then flowed through the system. Upon returning to the mud pits, the spent fluid was put through the well test package, which was able to separate out oil from water with relative ease. A second wash was performed again using the mud pits to blend the cleaning solution. After circulation through the mud handling system, the fluid was returned to the pits uncontaminated and clean, showing that the first pass had completely cleaned the system. Figure 3 shows the before and after cleaning operation of the mud pits.
This unspent, second pill was then opportunely and successfully used to clean the well test package at the end of the testing campaign.
Figure 3: Before (left) and after (right) pictures of the mud pit cleaning operation using SURFTREAT 12005.
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