The drilling environment today is not what it used to be. Conditions are much harsher because of higher pump rates, higher pressure as well as the use of more abrasive materials. Thus, steps have to be taken to ensure trouble free operation.
The mud saver is designed to make sure that some mud remains in the drill pipe. This stops the mud from flowing past the internal check valve in conditions of high pressure. The mud saver also reduces the loss of excess fluid significantly. It further saves time which would otherwise be lost in waiting for the Kelly to drain. In addition to this, the mud saver also has the ability to close when circulation ceases. This prevents hazardous drilling fluids from spewing out. In this manner, the mud saver valve is a multipurpose piece of equipment that plays an important role in checking pollution, reducing accidents, saving time and improving the morale of workers.
Some of the characteristics of efficient mud saver valves are as follows:
- Ability to withstand extreme drilling conditions like high pressure, high rate of mud flow, elevated density of mud and high solids content.
- Ability to prevent backflow thus providing sufficient safety to workers who are working under extreme conditions. Reducing pressure on the stand pipe thereby assuring smooth operations.
- Optimized design that reduces wear and tear in critical areas. This not only ensures excellent return on investment but also improves the reliability of the device.
- Designed to save time since workers do not have to wait for the Kelly to drain off completely. It also prevents the need to wash floors and vacuum frequently. Since mud spillage on the floor is reduced, the risk of falling is also reduced drastically.
Mud saver valves have been used in the drilling industry for more than twenty years now. Fortunately, designs have been changing to suit the changing requirements of the industry. Improved versions pay more attention to safety, reliability and ease of use. For instance, some devices allow automatic operation. Another useful feature is the ability to handle circulating requirements and Fillup requirements any time.
Another important characteristic of the mud saver is that it can help businesses save more than 20 gallons of mud for every connection. This adds up to huge cost savings in any kind of drilling operation, even in cases where low cost mud is used.
Finally, the mud saver also plays an important role in protecting the environment. By arresting the seepage of toxic drilling fluids into the environment, it has proved to be a very environment friendly device.
When choosing a mud saver for your project, it is important to check all the features associated with the device and buy one that best suits your requirements.