Scott Environmental Services, Inc. (SESI)

Solid Drilling Waste


Solid drilling waste is comprised of drilling mud and cuttings that cannot be pumped.  Typically, it is solid cuttings with drilling mud, which contains solids, liquids and other additives, attached.

Types of Solid Drilling Waste

The various types of solid drilling waste are classified according to the mud that was used to drill the well. Therefore, there are three basic types of solid drilling waste.

  1. Water-Based Mud and Cuttings
    • Fresh-water Mud and Cuttings (FWMC)
    • Saltwater Mud and Cuttings (SWMC)
  2. Oil-Based Cuttings (OBC)
    1. Mud is Normally Recycled
  3. Synthetic Oil-Based Cuttings (SBC)
    • Mud is Normally Recycled

According to the American Petroleum Institute, for every foot drilled in the United States, 1.21 barrels of drilling waste are generated. From past Scott experience, approximately 50 percent of this total drilling waste is solid drilling waste.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies and industry organizations have developed best practices for solid waste pollution prevention, recognizing that a company’s focus should no longer simply be on better waste disposal, but that source reduction, recycling/reuse and treatment should be foremost in any solid waste management strategy.

Scott Environmental Services, Inc. follows this recommended plan of action and works to treat and recycle solid waste at its source for a variety of producers. Scott earned a best management practice spotlight from the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado for adhering to these EPA-led guiding principles.

While the EPA is the principal regulatory agency in the U.S., many states have implemented a solid waste plan that takes primacy. In addition, Scott managers and employees are aware of the applicable and differing state laws, and meet or exceed them for every customer, depending on the state in which they are operating.

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