1. The shale shaker should be run continuously while circulating. Cuttings cannot be separated if the shaker bed is not in motion.
2. Fluid should cover most of the screen. If only one quarter or one third of the screen is covered, the screen is too coarse and should be replaced with a finer screen.
3. If fluid flows through a hole or tear, cuttings are not removed. Any screen with a hole or tear should be replaced immediately. With a panel screen, the hole or tear can be plugged.
4. Shaker screen replacements should be made as quickly as possible. Minimize downtime by planning your work. Locate and arrange tools and screens before starting. If possible, get help. This will decrease the amount of cuttings being kept in the mud because the shaker is not running. If possible, change screens during a connection. In critical situations, drilling may be interrupted and the pumps stopped while the screen is replaced.
5. Dilution fluid (water or oil) should not be added in the possum belly or on the shaker screen. Dilution fluid should be added downstream. Dilution-fluid (even water) additions should be metered or otherwise measured.
6. Except for cases of lost circulation (when it is necessary to retain lost circulation material), the shaker should not be bypassed, not even for a short time.
7. Large cuttings should be removed from the possum belly when mud is not being circulated. If the possum belly is dumped into the sand trap just before making a bit or wiper trip, the sand trap should also be cleaned. Otherwise, when fluid circulation starts after a trip, the large cuttings dumped into the sand trap will likely move down the pit system and plug desilters or desanders. Note: The possum belly and/ or sand trap is not always used with synthetic-based mud or some specialized fluid systems.
8. As much as possible, flow from the well (bell nipple) should be evenly distributed
among all the shakers.
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