Drilling Waste Treatment

SCFCan’s first commercial application is to be an Onshore, Regional Drilling Waste Treatment process.  This facility will grow to treat 90,000 tonnes of waste annually while recovering 100,000 bbl of refined oil.  Rotary drilling operations generate oil contaminated waste.  Recovery and reuse of this oil reduces the overall cost of drilling while reducing the overall environmental impact from drilling operations.

SCFCan Process Dwgs dw2

SCFCan’s drilling waste treatment process takes raw drilling waste (15 wt% oil) as a continuous feed to a high pressure extractor. Clean solids (<1 wt% oil) flow out of the extractor.  The SCF (carbon dioxide) with the oil proceeds to the low pressure separator where the oil condenses out and is collected for reuse in the industry.  The SCF is repressurized and returned to the extractor.


The process has been proven at pilot scale.  This image illustrates our extraction vessel (rated to 40 MPa).


The pilot system is automated with appropriate measures to maintain steady operation as well as controlled, emergency shutdown features.

The overall energy efficiency of a supercritical carbon dioxide extraction cycle leads to low energy requirements and correspondingly low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  It is projected that SCFCan’s drilling waste treatment technology will emit just 1.6 kgCO2e per kgOil recovered.  This projection requires verification once the commercial facility is in operation. This projection is also tied to the carbon intensity of the facility’s electricity supply.  In Alberta, the electricity supply’s carbon intensity is expected to diminish as the province phases out of coal.  

For an estimate of the GHG emissions associated with the status quo of a single use of oil followed waste by landfilling click here.