Oil & Gas
West Texas Premix Pits (WTPP) is a Midland-based surface rental company that manufactures and sells premix pits, trash pumps and safety showers to oil and gas drillers in the Midland–Odessa area. Recently, some of WTPP’s clients were looking for an efficient solution for recirculating and reusing the drilling mud necessary for drilling new wells.
Fluids play an integral role in oil and gas exploration and production. When a new well is drilled, some form of fluid is needed. The base of this drilling fluid, or mud, can be freshwater or saltwater (brine) or it may be an oil- or synthetic-based liquid. The type of fluid and the additives used are determined in part based on the composition of the rock being drilled into.
PABTEX, L.P., an affiliate of Kansas City Southern Industries, located in Port Arthur, Texas, is a major bulk commodity handing facility and vessel loading terminal, specializing in exporting petroleum coke which it receives by train from one of several refineries in the area. On their 29 acres of outside storage, PABTEX can store 500,000 tons of material before transferring the petcoke to shipping terminals for transport to global end users.
With the high price of petroleum, it is important to the bottom-line of U.S. producers to squeeze every dollar out of a barrel of crude oil. Every 42 gallon barrel produces 45 gallons of petroleum products. As you would expect, most of the petroleum is refined into gasoline (47%) followed by Heating Oil/Diesel Fuel (20%) and Jet Fuel (8%).
Throughout the United States, hundreds of companies work every day to discover and develop onshore oil and natural gas fields. Thousands more drill deep into the earth to bring water to the surface for commercial, industrial and residential use. Some of these firms are just a few employees in size, while others are among the nation’s largest corporations, with thousands of employees and tens of thousands of wells. Common to all of them is the need to cleanly and efficiently manage the spent drilling mud that is a necessary by-product of their work.The Challenge
Drillers—whether producing oil, natural gas or water—use a fluid containing bentonite clay to lubricate drill bits as they cut boreholes through soil, sand and rock. The lubricant is pumped into the well, and as drilling takes place, the used (“spent”) mud is circulated out of the bore hole to a holding tank, cellar or open reserve pit near the well.