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Open Access The Sensitivity of a Dispersion Model to Cuttings Settling Speeds

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In order to determine the impacts from drilling operations, it is necessary to understand the physical dispersion of the drilling discharge into the sea. The development of a waste dispersion model enables the prediction of the concentrations of drill-cuttings deposited on the seabed and the thickness of the cuttings pile (if present) on the seafloor. Some models already exist and could easily be improved by using more appropriate equations for the settling speed of cuttings in the water. In this paper, an existing simulation model is presented with its required input data and obtained output data. Four different settling speeds equations are introduced in the described model to compare with the usually used equation. Graphical data are produced and discussed for each test. It was found that the settling speed equation chosen for a dispersion has a significant influence on the final output data. Another common problem also comes from the nature of the input data required from the user. These input requirements are not always in agreement with what the oil companies can provide. Correlations between data needed for the simulation and data provided from oil companies could be determined through experiments. A set of experiments is proposed in the last section of this paper.

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Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: 1999-06-01

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