The MudCube primary solids control technology separates solids and liquids differently from the traditional type of vibrating shaker, using a combination of high air flow and vacuum to separate drilling fluid and drilled solids. A rotating filter belt carries mud and drilled solids forward while air, at 20,000 litres per minute, is pulled through this belt taking with it the liquid phase, the drilling fluid.
The “cleaned” drilling fluid is then returned to the active mud system. This leaves the solids phase to be carried forward on the filter belt to be discharged either directly overboard or to a cuttings handling system where the waste is either treated on location or shipped to shore for processing.
The drilling fluid from the main header box enters the MudCube at the top. The MudCube then filters the drilling fluid by vacuuming the fluid through the filter belt. The cuttings are offloaded from the MudCube by gravity, either for discharge or to a cuttings handling system. The MudCube has one air-knife installed on the inside of the vertical part of the filter-belt to remove any cuttings that may have “stuck” to the belt. In addition to this air-knife the MudCubes are equipped with water-knives, designed to clean the filter belt and improve filtration when drilling with water based mud through very sticky clay type formations. The MudCube has pneumatic micro-vibrators installed underneath the filter-belt. The vibrators create a resonance in the filter belt to improve conductance and avoid near size particles blocking the holes of the filter belt.
Remote Operation and Automation
MudCube allows for real-time monitoring and remote operation.
- The MudCube can be controlled and operated remotely due to camera, sensors, and control system
- Cameras are installed inside the MudCube, allowing for visual monitoring process without moving away from control room
- An operator panel is connected via Ethernet to PLC for visualizing and controlling/ monitoring of the process
The Filter Belt
The filter belts are designed specifically for the MudCube and are available in all standard API mesh sizes. These filter belts have a longer life than those used on standard shakers since they are not pre-tensioned or exposed to any high G-Forces, as they would be with the traditional tensioned screens. The filter belt is driven by a frequency-controlled electric motor to enable screen belt speed to be adjusted as required. This ensures good cleaning results for drilling fluids of differing properties and both the type and volume of cuttings.
A high speed will move the cuttings faster from the inlet end of the belt to the cuttings handling system thus allowing a higher flow into the MudCube. Too high a speed will however increase the residual fluid on the cuttings leaving the MudCube and increase the total volume of drilling waste produced. For operations where high viscosity fluids are being used, a slow speed will improve the cleaning process.
- Rotating non-tensioned filter belt
- Stainless steel
- Full API RP 13C Mesh Ranges are available
- Variable rotating speed
- Micro-vibrators used as needed to improve conductance
- Air knife used to clean the screens
- Any screens failure monitored
- Use Velcro to connect the filter belt
- Replacement time : 2 minutes – no additional working area needed
- Less inventory weight than conventional shaker screens
- No need for external screen washer “self-cleaning”
Specifications for the MudCube and the Vacuum Pump
Specifications for the MudCube
- Weight: 1270 kg
- Length: 2772 mm
- Width: 2069 mm
- Height: 1170 mm
- Inlet flange: 8”
- Outlet flange: 8”
- Air outlet flange: 5”
- Maximum mudflow (OBM @ 2,6 SG): 3 600 l/min/MudCube
- Air consumption for microvibrators: 1,3 Nm3/min @ 6 bar/MudCube
- Air consumption for air knives: 3 Nm3/min @ 6 bar/MudCube
- Power consumption: 1,85 + 0,37 kW
- Sea water consumption: 300 l/min @ 6bar
Specifications for the Vacuum Unit Skid (Vacuum Pump)
- Weight: 420 kg
- Length: 1200 mm
- Width: 600 mm
- Height: 1455 mm
- Inlet flange: 5”
- Outlet flange: 5”
- Vacuum relief valve inlet flange: 5”
- Maximum airflow for each vacuum unit: 1200 m3/h
- Power consumption at maximum speed for each vacuum unit: 11 kW