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What to Ask During Solids Dewatering, Transport, and Disposal Design (B-FSM-154)

I’ve listed some key questions that should be asked during design of any D-T-D system. These questions should be asked of your design team, operations group, and engineering contractor working on the Facilities Sand Management system. These questions will guide your decision-making process on the most appropriate process scheme to use.

  • Is the facility onshore or offshore?
  • Is the facility manned or un-manned?
  • If offshore, can the solids be disposed overboard?
  • Does the process system contain any hazardous components?
    • Gas: H2S, BTEX
    • Liquid: Mercury
    • Solid: NORM
  • Are solids, such as drill cuttings, already being handled at facility?
  • What is the level of automation required?
    • Fully automated systems can be designed, but with substantially increased cost
  • How will the solids be transported from the separation system to the disposal system?
  • What are similar facilities in your company or the geographic area doing?


  1. Rawlins, C.H. and Wang, I. 2001. “Design and Installation of a Sand-Separation and -Handling System for a Gulf of Mexico Oil Production Facility”. SPE Production and Facilities, August, pp. 134-140. https://doi.org/10.2118/72999-PA
  2. Rawlins, C.H. 2019. “Enhanced Production Through Surface Facilities Sand Management.” SPE Distinguished Lecturer presentation. Link here
  3. Rawlins, C.H. “What to do with Produced Solids after Separation: Dewatering, Transport, and Disposal.”. White Paper Publication, eProcess Technologies. Link here

Next week I will start covering Step 4: Dewatering in detail.

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