Get Started
6 min read

The Importance of Solids Control in the Oil & Gas Industry

Featured Image

Solids control in oil and gas production is the process of removing solids in drilling fluid. The solids control industry is a sub-sector of oil field services that provides equipment, supplies, chemicals, technological expertise and labor to help reduce waste and proceed as efficiently as possible.

Solids Control in OIL & Gas

Oil waste is inevitable, within any activity, but there's not necessarily an issue so much with the waste itself as how it can be dealt with (see here for hazardous waste cleaning). Technology has been instrumental to helping the oil and gas industry and even so with its waste production.

Solids control is used in oil drilling to separate the solids in the drilling mud. These solids are created by the crushing of the drill bits that are carried out of the well surface.

Depending on the source, solids control also includes sludge removal from producing wells. During directional drilling, mining and other drilling operations, the solids control process has direct implications for the integrity of any wellbore, which are vital during all other phases of oil or natural gas production.

Solids control is an essential part of oil production. It allows drillers to recycle the drilling mud, save costs and reduces environmental impacts. By implementing a Solids Control System or program, solid control companies minimize operational costs by:

  • Achieve environmental compliance
  • Allowing for fluid to flow at higher rates
  • Prolonging the life of drilling fluid
  • Reduce the rate of diluted fluid
  • Reduce the volume of additives required

Solids Control Systems

A solids control system is an installation of several solid-liquid separators used in a series. The function of the solids control system is to remove suspended material from a liquid, such as oil or water or processing wastewater.

Solids control systems contain multiple parts, tools, equipment and stages:

  • Mud tank: Mixes and stores drilling mud
  • Shale shaker: Removes large solids
  • Hydrocyclones: Speeds up the settling process
  • Centrifugal pumps: Provides feed pressure and volume to operate the hydrocyclone
  • Desander: Removes medium-sized solids
  • Desilter: Removes small-sized solids
  • Vacuum degasser: Removes air from mud
  • Conveyance system: Transports cuttings
  • Centrifuge: Centrifuges recover barite and complies with environmental standards
  • Mud cooler
  • Cuttings dryer: Removes moisture from cuttings
  • Dewatering: Removes fine solids
  • Containers: Holds cuttings for transport

One of the first elements of a solids control system is usually a screen with a surface designed to retain the most common particles - a shale shaker screen.

See here for information regarding industrial hazardous waste cleaning.

Download Brochure | PLC Services

Shaker Screens

Shaker screens are a must-have solid separator for any solids control company. Shaker screens on a shale shaker work by suspending the solid material in fluid and rocking it back and forth through a screen mesh until they become separated.

Shaker screens are designed to capture all of the solid particles and allow any excess mud to pass through.

Click here to learn more about why shaker screens are necessary for oil and gas drilling.

Precision Shaker Screens

PLC shaker screens are made in the USA, manufactured by us, and are all API RP 13 C compliant. PLC screens are designed to maximize open area on existing major brand shakers and offers higher performance solids removal, more control and lower screen costs.

PLC offers two distinctive metal back screen choices: 1" Screens & Square Screens.

The power of one

PLC's new 1” proprietary design, "The Power of One"! This screen is designed to maximize open area on existing major brand shakers, giving you an alternative to OEM panels. PLC's new shaker screen design has a unibody frame that lightens its weight and made to last longer!

Traditional square design

PLC's traditional “square” design offers our customers standard open areas and conventional screening. The square offers higher performance solids removal and control and lower screen costs. Our square screen has a rugged tubular frame and built with longer lasting screen combination technology.

A cut above the rest

While the oil and gas industry continues to change, PLC continues to stay up to date with what's trending. Not only are we dedicated to providing quality products and services, but our customers can always expect honesty, integrity, and respect.

Our well trained team ensures that your parts are made correctly on time, every time. So if you're looking for a solution, let's talk about Precision Laser Cutting.

Download Brochure | PLC Services


Your manufacturing solutions experts. With over 70 years of combined plate processing experience, Precision Laser is committed to providing high-quality, expert service and cost-effective solutions.