Jan 25

In the oil and gas drilling, mud tanks need regular cleaning for many reasons. Some of them are:

  1. Using the mud tank for mud of different properties
  2. Making the mud tank ready for new drilling tasks
  3. Getting rid of the deposit on tank bottom
  4. Maintaining the effective volume of mud tanks
  5. Increasing tank efficiency

Most of the tank cleaning job is done manually. Workers needs to get into the restricted space to clean the mud tank using high pressure spray. This is a tedious and dangerous process as the workers have very limited movement in a limited space, where temperature is usually extreme, no air circulation, existence of dangerous gas (inflammable, explosive, corrosive, etc.), exposing the worker to a very dangerous and labor demanding environment, a big challenge to HSE regulation practioners.

Automatic tank cleaning systems will effectively eliminate the problems for such job.

In general such system will have a cleaning machine positions in the mud tank, which connects with high pressure chemical solutions dosed for the particular cleaning job (usually surfactant). The cleaning machine will spray high pressure solution in a special cleaning pattern, so that the mud tanks can be cleaned properly.

Centrifugal pumps will send pressurized chemical solution to the cleaning machine located in the mud tank. The cleaning machine will apply high pressurized solution to the tank surface to “rush” mud residual out. Vacuum pump transfers the sludge to the post processing equipment such as desilter, and inclined plate clarifier, to separate the solids. The solutions will be transferred back to buffer tank and be reused, forming a closed loop cleaning system.

The advantages of such system are:

  1. Greatly increase cleaning efficiency, usually four hour is required to clean one tank around 6,000m3
  2. Usually a 30-40% reduction of confined entry to mud tank;
  3. And 1/3 less of waste solids generated

GN Solids Control manufactures GNTC-30B closed loop automatic cleaning system. In addition to the above features, this system also carries the following advantages:

  • The whole system is integrated into a compact package, with everything included in it;
  • Mature: major sub-systems such as inclined plate clarifier, centrifugal pumps, vacuum pumps are from GN Solids Control, demonstrating reliable outstanding performance;
  • Flexible: this system can be configured with many other features. It can be customized with the addition of agitator for the addition of chemical to accommodate needs for the cleaning of different muds (water based, oil based, etc.), heating systems for the extreme weather conditions, and so on;
  • The complete package can be loaded on a truck (temporary or permanently) to perform mud cleaning jobs in different locations, which can greatly improve the profitability of the service provider using such system;
  • Automation options available. Automation packages can be added to the system to achieve advanced cleaning capabilities including closed loop pressure control, customized recipes for different tank sizes and shapes, and a more precisely defined scanning & cleaning pattern.


  1. Mud tank
  2. Tank cleaning head
  3. Strainer
  4. Vacuum pump
  5. Desilter
  6. Clarifier
  7. Air pump
  8. Buffer tank
  9. Skip
  10. Centrifugal pump

Related posts:

  1. Drilling mud cleaning cycle
  2. 200 GPM Mud Cleaning System for HDD
  3. GN 200GPM Mud Mixing & Cleaning System
  4. Mud Cleaning System for tunnel project
  5. ZJ50 Rig Mud Cleaning Program for CNPC LiaoHe Oilfield

written by Decanter Centrifuge

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