The past year has seen a practice shift across the North Sea, as companies strive to ensure their commitment to HSE is reflected throughout every aspect of their operations.
This has had widespread impact across the sector in 2019, ushering in the adoption of new approaches and technologies in the region.
The most apparent shift for us at TWMA has undoubtedly been the increased demand for the processing of cuttings offshore.
This process allows recovered oil from drill cuttings to be recycled back into the active mud system onsite, resulting in significant cost savings. In addition, by removing the need to transport drilling waste onshore for treatment, customers can reduce the carbon footprint of their drilling operations.
Offshore processing of drilling waste has now become the new norm in the North Sea, with the majority of projects adopting TWMA technology to access all of the economic, environmental and safety benefits that it provides.
By removing the need for drilling waste to be transported onshore for processing, the need for, and the cost of, vessels and port access is decreased.
Other financial savings come as oil from the drill cuttings can be recycled back into the active mud system. Downtime is also reduced as drilling operations can continue in all weather conditions thanks to the elimination of lifting operations.
All these savings typically cut our customers total cost of ownership in half.
Offshore processing of drill cuttings using TWMA’s TCC RotoMill® can eliminate 95% of lifting operations. Typically, we estimate over 3,500 lifts can be avoided in comparison with a traditional ship-to-shore approach.
Lifts create a major risk to personnel and assets, so being able to reduce this at such a significant rate delivers real health and safety benefit.
Another key benefit is the reduction in carbon footprint when compared to a traditional ship-to-shore approach which involves transporting drilling waste onshore for processing. A third-party study estimates that offshore processing can cut carbon emissions by over 50%.
In addition, removing the logistics involved in this process also directly eliminates the risk of any environmentally harmful spills which could occur during transportation.
The increased appetite for offshore processing has seen us secure a significant number of contracts in the region this year, with a value in excess of £20 million.
We at TWMA are pleased to be at the forefront of this industry shift. As HSE, cost-efficiency and low carbon drilling continue to be the focus for all operators in 2020, I foresee that the processing of drilling cuttings offshore will continue to be accepted as the best practice and adopted in the North Sea and beyond.