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Liquid mud plant barge

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The liquid mud plant barge's purpose it to support offshore operations by transporting mud from a liquid mud plant (LMP) to an offshore destination.

Supply Base

Each supply base (or shore base) is structured to support offshore operations. Supply Base location is chosen for it's efficiency to any supported operation. Cost of the land/facility, adequate & constant water depth, physical dock space and a close proximity to supported rigs are all qualifiers with the selection of any Supply Base.

Liquid mud plant (LMP)

Within each Supply Base, you can usually find what "Mud" companies are working offshore from this base as they are represented in the form of a Liquid Mud Plant. This mud plant is used to manipulate (mix, dilute, treat, adjust) various drilling fluids to be used in wells supported by this Supply Base. You can also find expanded drilling waste management (DWM) processing here, typically in the form of centrifuges used to treat used mud that has been back loaded to the supply base. OSV (offshore supply vessels) are used to transport any drilling or completion fluids to and from the LMP that cannot be mixed up ort treated on location. The LMP is in place for one primary purpose and that is to, "Keeping good mud properties in the wellbore as much as possible".

Supply Base Choke Points

There exists a few downsides to any LMP and that is the capability of installing the necessary infrastructure for any LMP. This infrastructure being a series of tanks with necessary missing hoppers, pumps & piping. Any tank format chosen for a particular site come with very heavy footprints so a very well compacted site need be present quayside.

Scenario 1

Many remote operations do not allow or justify the creation of any LMP because of initial cost or the lack available land and / or dock space. If this is the case, an offshore drilling operation is then dependent upon long boat runs to the chosen Supply Base. OSV (boat) runs in excess of several days is not uncommon. This waiting period for a specific loaded OSV, can equate to extended rig down time. Enter the Liquid Mud Plant Barge to bring Supply base type support alongside the drilling operation.

Scenario 2

Perhaps an Operator has multiple rigs in the same field or a Contractor has several rigs under the same Operator all of which are using the same fluids. The Operator may want to consider using a strategically placed LMP barge to negate multiple OSV runs to the beach (back to the Supply Base).

Scenario 3

A newly developed region/field has several Operators in it and operating at the same time but none of the contracts allow for the cost associated with the establishing of any Supply Based LMP. A LMP Barge can be placed either quayside or in the field for immediate support to multiple operators.

Liquid Mud Plant Barge (LMP)

A strong LMP barge design will support multiple levels of any drilling operation. Some of the initial needy areas of support are as follows:

  1. Drilling fluid
  2. Completions fluid
  3. Drilling waste management
  4. Personnel transitioning (POB)
  5. SLOPS (hazardous drain processing for the LMP Barge and supported rigs)
  6. Downhole tool inventory, cleaning rack.

Water depth, environmental demands, client drilling program mud requirements, contract length, availability all qualify any LMP Barge selection. For any barge, assignment will be in 'sheltered waters' or as a rule of thumb in waters < 100m in depth. Mooring analysis will be done to determine single, 4 or 8 point mooring pattern.

External links

LMP Barge. (2015). Offshore Construction Services Pte Ltd.