Large amounts of drill cuttings are produced in offshore drilling, which for ocean disposal have a limit on the total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) they are allowed to contain. For instance, the North Sea currently has a 1% TPH limit for the disposal of drilling cuttings. Transporting the cuttings to shore is labour intensive, costly and could be cancelled due to bad weather. TPH limit requirements must also be met for onshore disposal or reuse. Whether disposing onshore or offshore, InfraCal analysers can verify in under 15 minutes if the oil content of the drill cuttings is below the allowable limit.
The InfraCal analyser is a compact, fixed-filter mid-infrared analyzer with no moving parts. Hydrocarbons are measured at 3.4 micrometers (2,930 cm-1). The analyser is rugged and portable, weighing less than 5 pounds, and the user interface is specifically designed for non-technical users.
The analysis procedure involves several simple steps that allow an operator with minimal training to do the analysis.
- The sample is collected in a container
- The solvent (hexane, pentane, cyclohexane, perchloroethylene or S-316) is added at a ratio of one part solvent to ten parts sample; for solids testing, the ratio is one part solids to one part sample
- After two minutes’ shaking the solvent partitions, a portion of which is introduced to the infrared analyzer for measurement; with soil, the solids are filtered from the solvent prior to testing
- The complete analysis from sample collection to final result takes less than 15 minutes