Evaluation of generic types of drilling fluids using a risk-based analytical hierarchy process (AHP)
Sadiq, R and Husain, T and Veitch, B and Bose, N, Evaluation of generic types of drilling fluids using a risk-based analytical hierarchy process (AHP), Environmental Management (New York), 32, (6) pp. 778-787. ISSN 0364-152X (2003) [Refereed Article]
The composition of drilling muds is based on a mixture of clays and additives in a base fluid. There are three generic categories of base fluid - water, oil, and synthetic. Water-based fluids (WBFs) are relatively environmentally benign, but drilling performance is better with oil-based fluids (OBFs). The oil and gas industry developed synthetic-based fluids (SBFs), such as vegetable esters, olefins, ethers, and others, which provide drilling performance comparable to OBFs, but with lower environmental and occupational health effects. The primary objective of this paper is to present a methodology to guide decision-making in the selection and evaluation of three generic types of drilling fluids using a risk-based analytic hierarchy process (AHP), In this paper a comparison of drilling fluids is made considering various activities involved in the life cycle of drilling fluids. This paper evaluates OBFs, WBFs, and SBFs based on four major impacts - operations, resources, economics, and liabilities. Four major activities - drilling, discharging offshore, loading and transporting, and disposing onshore - cause the operational impacts. Each activity involves risks related to occupational injuries (safety), general public health, environmental impact, and energy use. A multicriteria analysis strategy was used for the selection and evaluation of drilling fluids using a risk-based AHP. A four-level hierarchical structure is developed to determine the final relative scores, and the SBFs are found to be the best option.