Thermtech AS: Aiming for Leadership in Drilling Waste Treatment with Innovative Clean Technology

A clear vision

Thermtech AS was founded with the vision to become the market leader in the treatment of the drilling waste by offering a new, clean and effective technology for the treatment of the cuttings, both from WBM (Water Based Mud) and from OBM (Oil Based Mud).

Today Thermtech can claim more than 15 successful years in operation and has enjoyed steady growth with clients all over the world. Its large global footprint allows Thermtech AS to understand the needs of clients operating in a host of varied markets, each with a unique set of practices. “Our technology complies with the strict environmental requirements of the oil and gas industry and the objective of the technology is to drastically reduce the content of organic carbon in the solids. We provide the solution that helps the oil companies to comply with the most stringent environmental regulations,” says sales and marketing director, Rocco Valentinetti.

Unlike other thermal technologies, which use high temperatures to destroy hydrocarboncontaminated material, the Thermtech TCC units (Thermomechanical Cuttings Cleaner – an advanced thermal desorption technology) convert kinetic energy into thermal energy by generating friction and heat within the drill waste itself. The process has the added benefit of being able to recover the oil from the drilling waste.

The most remarkable feature of the TCC is that it can reduce the level of the TOC (Total Organic Carbon) in the recovered solids down to 0.014 per cent in weight, without burning and without gas emissions. Speaking to European Oil and Gas magazine in April 2014, Rocco explained: “Because the waste is not burned, consequently there are no gas emissions and there is no risk of explosion. While the input is waste, the output is represented by re-usable elements. This is not recycling; it is re-use and this is one-step higher then recycling. The oil and water that were in the waste are separated and can be reused in the drilling fluids, while the solids are so clean that they can be reclassified as building material or thrown away if the operator prefers because they are inert and free of pollution.”

Through continuous development of its TCC technology Thermtech is able to deliver a highly adaptable product, which can be deployed across a spectrum of geographic locations encompassing a host of requirements. This has proven to be a significant advantage in adapting to the uncertain market caused by the current low oil price. Presently the Middle East is increasingly becoming a key geographical area for the Thermtech TCC. “The most commercially interesting area in which to do business at present is the Middle East, because the cost of production per barrel is lower than anywhere else in the world. The company used to go where there were higher investments in drilling, now we are focusing in the areas with lower production costs,” Rocco explains. “The challenge at present is to survive and to choose the right geographical markets in which to operate. It is also important to present something different to clients old and new, a technology that is more efficient, cheaper and more effective. There are opportunities in different areas such as Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE and so on. Authorities over the past three to four years have shown that they want the drilling waste to be treated rather than disposed of, so the work is also to process the old waste as well as the new waste and the interest for the TCC technology among local contractors is growing.”

As Thermtech looks to the rest of 2015 and beyond, it will focus on existing clients as well as growing opportunities in newer markets. The adaptability of TCC will be vital in ensuring that the company is able to meet the needs of its customers and is exemplified by the fact that it can be provided both for WBM cuttings and OBM cuttings, i.e. with or without the option to recover the oil. Clients looking for equipment that do not include the recovery option can benefit from a cheaper and more compact solution that offers the same efficiency with the recovery of precious and pure water.

Thermtech AS

Supply: Thermal desorption technology and engineering