The EFD team constantly searches for technologies that may address environmental issues. Several of these have been incorporated into the EFD Virtual Site (www.efdvirtualsite.org).

                Emissions Measurement Systems

HARC-EFD researchers recently completed a project for an operator focusing upon engine emissions on an active drilling site. Bringing HARC's engine science capabilities to the oilfield necessitated development of an intrinsically safe instrumentation package, suitable for use in a Class I Division 2 Hazardous Environment where hydrocarbon gases may be present. To do this, the team developed the EFD iBox
The iBox instrumentation system facilitates safe and expedient execution of engine emissions measurements in the field. It is a self-contained, purged enclosure that houses an MKS Multi-Gas Analyzer, an AVL Soot Sensor, and other electronic components. We designed, constructed and certified this enclosure in response to industry sponsors' requests to ensure that the instrumentation was suitable for use at any drilling or hydraulic fracturing location. We know of no other equipment like what we have developed. 

                Produced Water Treatments

The EFD-TIP investigates new water treatment and re-use technologies. Water treatment business ventures are partnering with us to test technology and to provide documented data for pilot plant, field trials and potentially full scale commercial operations. The EFD-TIP team is performing tests on frac water flow back and produced brine to identify the required level of treatment that is best for re-use in subsequent fracturing operations. The team shares information (basic water chemistry, water needs, logistics) with landowners and operators. Sponsors and supporters are providing sites on their ranches and at their sites. Field tours to sites are coordinated by Texas A&M, who provides the mobile lab to support the trials. Further information may be found here.

                Drilling and Completions

EFD Sponsors offer several technologies and processes that address environmental issues.

                Rig Advances

The EFD-TIP team has conducted studies on the advances of small footprint rigs and power sources that are more efficient, require less fuel, produce fewer emissions and are quieter. State-of-the-art rigs are more efficient and can get in and out faster with less environmental impact. They are also safer. Advances in rig design and efficiency continue to be made and many of these advances are demonstrated through the EFD-TIP. The field tests demonstrate what is possible, the cost effectiveness and environmental benefits of using modern rigs. Prototype Small Footprint Rig Video.

               Spill Prevention

The EFD-TIP team is conducting field tests to measure and document equipment, processes and techniques to minimize risks associated with any spillage, including drilling fluids, oil/fuel, lubricants, drip pans and other devices/systems.

One of the technologies being tested is the spill-catch system that can be incorporated into the rig. Learn more from this video.

               Dope-Free Connections

Dopefree technology is a practice that can substanially address environmental issues in drilling and completion operations. The ability to connect premium pipe threads without applying doping compound has brought significant improvements in running casing and tubing into production wellbores, with further benefits in post-completion operations.

Liquid-based lubricants known as pipe dopes have traditionally been applied manually to thread surfaces in the mill for storage and again in the field before connections are made. These thread compounds help to fight corrosion and prevent galling—the tendency of thread surfaces to stick to each other during makeup, while under contact pressure, and in motion.

In Dopeless connection technology, a dry coating is applied to thread surfaces in the pipe mill as part of manufacturing, preventing corrosion and providing proper lubrication for connection makeup. The process is integrated into production line operations under tight quality control to ensure that the exact amounts of coating treatments are applied and distributed evenly throughout the thread surface.

The principal areas of benefit have been in rig time efficiency; string installation reliability; well productivity; and health, safety, and environmental protection. Learn more here.


For more information contact:

     Rich Haut, rhaut@HARCResearch.org, 281-364-6053

     Carolyn LaFleur, clafleur@HARCResearch.org, 281-364-6047

     Andra Wilcox: awilcox@HARCResearch.org, 281-364-6036