The Problem With Current Methods

Drill cutting samples are collected the same way as 20 years ago.

A container is placed at the discharge end of the shaker to collect drill cuttings, which are manually sieved and bagged for the wellsite geologist to examine and interpret.

Current methods of sample collection are inaccurate.

The pail is stationary, with cuttings accumulating in a layered manner. To obtain an accurate and representative sample the entire contents of the pail must be sampled.  This process is labour intensive, time-consuming and messy. In practice, it is very common, if not universal, to grab a sample from the only the top of the pail.  

- High ROPs and superior drilling fluids result in large volumes of cuttings. The bucket often fills prior to the end of the sample period. Due to common shale shaker constraints, smaller receptacles are often used, which fill up even faster.

- Taking a sample from the top of a pail, which has overflowed before the end of the sample period, results in essentially a  spot sample.

High ROPs have led to the common practice of taking samples directly from the shaker, also resulting in a spot sample .

If a proper sample is taken, the pail must be removed for 3 to 5 minutes to process the contents. With an ROP of 60m/hr, a sample is taken every 10 minutes.  If the bucket is absent for 3 to 5 minutes, 1/3 to 1/2 of the sample interval will be missed.
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