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Shale shaker and screen US 5392925 A Abstract A vibratable shale shaker screen is disclosed which in one aspect, has

a frame, screening material secured over the frame, and one or more sealing members secured to the frame for sealingly contacting an adjacent frame and/or adjacent portions of the frame or of screen mounting apparatus such as mount channels on the frame. Alternatively, sealing elements are provided on screen mounting apparatus, e.g. channels, on a shale shaker. A shale shaker is disclosed with at least one such screen. In one aspect such a shale shaker has three such screens disposed in a tiered configuration, one screen in sealing contact with the next. Adjustable screen mounts are disclosed for releasably holding the screens in sealing contact with each other and with screen mounting apparatus. Images(9)

Claims(11) What is claimed is: 1. An adjustable shale shaker screen support for sealingly forcing a screen against another member, the support comprising a first wedge member having a top surface, a lower inclined surface and an open trough therein open to the top of the first wedge member, a second wedge member having a bottom surface and having an upper inclined surface corresponding to and for co-action with the lower inclined surface of the first wedge member, a bolt extending on one side from the second wedge member and on the other side into the open trough of the first wedge member, the bolt having a bolt body and a bolt end at an angle to the bolt body, the bolt end movably disposed in and held in a bolt end channel in the first wedge member, a nut threadedly engaging the bolt and rotatable on the bolt, and rotation of the nut effecting movement of the lower inclined surface of the first wedge member on and with respect to the upper inclined surface of the second wedge member thereby changing the distance between the top surface of the first wedge member and the bottom surface of the second wedge member, the bolt movable vertically with respect to the open trough as the bolt end rotates in the bolt end channel. 2. The support of claim 1 wherein the nut is manually rotatable.

3. The support of claim 2 comprising also pneumatically-powered bolt movement means interconnected with the bolt for movement thereof to operate the screen support. 4. A shale shaker comprising a base, a vibratable shaker basket for holding at least one shaker screen, the shaker basket mounted movably with respect to and on the base, means for vibrating the vibratable shaker basket, at least one screen releasably mounted on the shaker basket, the at least one screen comprising a screen frame, screening material attached to and covering the screen frame, at least one sealing element secured to an end of the screen frame for sealingly contacting another screen in the shale shaker or for sealingly contacting an end portion of the shaker basket, the at least one sealing element comprising a seal strip secured to and extending along an end of the screen frame and disposed for sealingly contacting an end of a second screen positioned adjacent the first screen, at least one side sealing member for sealing against a portion of a mount apparatus in which the screen is mounted, the at least one screen comprising three screens disposed end-on-end one next to the other, each screen held in sealing contact with each adjacent screen by shaker screen support means for supporting each screen, and each screen held in sealing contact with screen mounting apparatus in which each screen is mounted, the three screens mounted in tiered fashion with a first highest screen sealingly contacting a second middle screen, the second middle screen positioned at a level below a level of the first highest screen, the second middle screen sealingly contacting a third lowest screen, the second middle screen positioned at a level above a level of the third lowest screens, the screens disposed in end-to-end alignment for the movement of material to be screened initially to the first highest screen, from thence to the second middle screen, and from thence to the third lowest screen, the screen mounting apparatus having a pair of side mount channels for each screen, the side mount channels at different levels corresponding to levels of the screens, each screen having side sealing members for sealing against ends of the side mount channels, and the shaker screen support means including a plurality of adjustable screen supports for each screen. 5. The shale shaker of claim 4 comprising also each screen having side frame members corresponding to sides of the side mount channels, and a seal strip secured to a top of each side frame member for sealingly contacting an interior surface of a corresponding side mount channel. 6. A shale shaker comprising a base, a vibratable shaker basket for holding at least one shaker screen, the shaker basket mounted movably with respect to and on the base, means for vibrating the vibratable shaker basket, said means interconnected with the vibratable shaker basket, at least one screen releasably mounted on the shaker basket, the at least one screen comprising a screen frame, screening material attached to and covering the screen frame,

at least one sealing element secured to an end of the screen frame for sealingly contacting another screen in the shale shaker or for sealingly contacting a portion of the shaker basket, the at least one sealing element comprising a seal strip releasably secured to and extending along an end of the screen frame and disposed for sealingly contacting an end of a second screen positioned adjacent the first screen, and the at least one screen comprising three screens disposed end-on-end one next to the other, each screen held in sealing contact with each adjacent screen by shaker screen support means for supporting each screen, and each screen in sealing contact with screen mounting apparatus in which each screen is mounted. 7. The shale shaker of claim 6 wherein the three screens are mounted in tiered fashion with a first highest screen sealingly contacting a second middle screen, the second middle screen positioned at a level below a level of the first highest screen, the second middle screen sealingly contacting a third lowest screen, the second middle screen positioned at a level above a level of the third lowest screens, the screens disposed in end-to-end alignment for the movement of material to be screened initially moving to the first highest screen, from thence to the second middle screen, and from thence to the third lowest screen. 8. The shale shaker of claim 7 wherein the screen mounting apparatus has a pair of side mount channels for each screen, the side mount channels at different levels corresponding to levels of the screens, and each screen has side sealing members for sealing against ends of the side mount channels. 9. The shale shaker of claim 8 wherein the shaker screen support means includes a plurality of adjustable screen supports for each screen. 10. The shale shaker of claim 9 wherein each adjustable screen support comprises a first wedge member having a top surface, a lower inclined surface and an open trough therein open to the top of the first wedge member, a second wedge member having a bottom surface and having an upper inclined surface corresponding to and for co-action with the lower inclined surface of the first wedge member, a bolt extending on one side from the second wedge member and on the other side into the open trough of the first wedge member, the bolt having a bolt end movably disposed in and held in a bolt end channel in the first wedge member, a nut threadedly engaging the bolt and rotatable on the bolt, and rotation of the nut effecting movement of the lower inclined surface of the first wedge member on and with respect to the upper inclined surface of the second wedge member thereby changing the distance between the top surface of the first wedge member and the bottom surface of the second wedge member, the bolt movable vertically with respect to the open trough as the bolt end rotates in the bolt end channel. 11. The shale shaker of claim 8 comprising also each screen having side frame members corresponding to sides of the side mount channels, and a seal strip secured to a top of each side frame member for sealingly contacting an interior surface of a corresponding side mount channel. Description DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS PREFERRED AT THE TIME OF FILING FOR THIS PATENT Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, a shale shaker 10 according to the present invention has three screens 101,102, 103 (each covered with screening cloths or cloths as desired) according to the present invention mounted on vibratable screen mounting apparatus or "basket" 12. The basket 12 is mounted on springs 14 (only two shown; two as shown are on

the opposite side) which are supported from a frame 16. The basket 12 is vibrated by a motor 2 and interconnected vibrating apparatus 18 which is mounted on the basket 12 for vibrating the basket and the screens. Elevator apparatus 8 provides for raising and lowering of the basket end. As shown in FIG. 2, the three screens 101, 102, 103 (shown schematically without defined screen cloth openings) disposed within tiered side mounting channel pairs are tiered with the screen 101 at a highest level and the screen 103 at a lowest level. Material to be shaken is introduced onto the first screen 101 from a deflector plate 30. A bar 11 is secured to the deflector plate 30. A seal member 201 on the first screen 101 seals the bar/screen interface. A seal member 202 on the second screen 102 seals the screen-101/screen-102 interface. A seal 203 on the third screen 103 seals the screen-102/screen-103 interface. FIG. 3, 4, and 5 illustrate the vibratable screen mounting apparatus 12 and the frame 16. The basket 12 includes side members 22, end members 24, crossbars 26, and cross braces 28 disposed below screens. Mounting bars on the mounting apparatus 12 provide a platform for adjustable supports on which the screens are disposed. The screen 101 is disposed over mounting bars 31, 32, 33, and 34. The screen 102 is disposed over mounting bars 41, 42, 43, and 44. The screen 103 is disposed over mounting bars 51, 52, 53, and 54. Each mounting bar for an adjustable screen mounting device rests on either a frame cross beam 125 or on an upper surface of an angle member 127 which is secured to a cross beam 125 and to the sides 22. A bolt 4 rotatably mounted through the bar 26 with an end block 6 may be used to contact and press downwardly on a screen for stability and to prevent a screen from bowing upward. One such bolt or more may be provided for each screen. Preferably the size of the end blocks 6 is minimized so that a substantially unobstructed uncluttered surface is presented to fluid to be screened. Spring mounts 7 provide for a connection of the springs 14 between the basket 12 and the frame 16. Each screen is held in opposed side mounting channels. The side mounting channels are secured to the sides 22 of the basket 12. Back-up braces 159 help secure each side mounting channel to the basket. A screen can be inserted into its side mounting channels and removed therefrom independently of the other screens when adjustable mounts for holding the screens are loosened. FIGS. 8 and 10 illustrate side mounting channels in which the screens 102 and 101 are mounted. The screen 102 is mounted in side mounting channels 122 and 124 and the screen 101 is mounted in side mounting channels 126 and 128. FIG. 6, 7, 8 and 9 illustrate the mounting of one of the screens. The screen 102 rests on adjustable mounts 35, 36, 37, and 38 each of which is disposed on a mounting bar 41-44. An angled bar 40 is secured to or formed integrally of an end of a frame 61 of the screen 102. A seal strip 62 (e.g. but not limited to a nitrile strip) is secured to the bar 40 along its length. Preferably the angled bar and seal strip are shorter than the distance between the outer edges of a screen's opposed side mounting channels so that a screen can be inserted into the side mounting channels without the ends of the angled bar having to be inserted therein. This permits the use of angled bars of desired height projecting above the screen. Any minimal space between ends of the angled bar or seal strip and interior edges of side mounting channels is sealed with seal pads as described below. As described in detail below, the adjustable mounts 35 and 36 releasably urge the screen 102, and therefore the seal strip 62, sealingly up against a frame 63 of the screen 101. Screws 39 and a metal washer 47 secure

77.seal pads 64 (e. For illustration and explanation one of the mounts.. Adjustable mount apparatuses 71. As shown in FIG. but not limited to a nitrile pad) at opposite sides of one end of the screen 102 to the bar 40 to seal against ends of the mounting channels 122 and 124 and to seal off part of the flow path through the channels. The screen 103 is urged sealingly upwardly against the screen 102 and against its side mounting channels 121. projecting upwardly sufficiently to sealingly contact a screen disposed above and adjacent the strip or bar. and 78 (disposed opposite the mounts 75. Thus any individual screen in a tiered screen arrangement can be inserted into or removed from side mounting channels without removing another screen. 72. At the other end of the screen 102. In one such embodiment all of the twelve pneumatically operated devices for moving the bolts are interconnected in one pneumatic system so that activation of one switch moves all of the bolts simultaneously. 72) releasably urge the screen 101 sealingly up against mounting channels 126 and 128 on either side of the screen 101.g. In this embodiment it is preferred that the bottom wedge member be secured (as by welding) to a mount channel. the adjustable mounts have not been tightened to raise the screen 102 and push it up against the screen 101 and push the screen surface S up against an interior top surface C of the side mount channels. the mount 35 is shown. but disposed across from 71. 74 (73. The screen 102 has seal pads 45 secured with screws 39 and a washer 47 at another end on opposite sides of its frame to seal against the other ends of the channels 122 and 124. Similarly the other screens have seal pads secured at opposite sides and at either end of their frames to seal against the channel ends. a seal pad 64 provides a seal at a space between an end of the bar 40 and an inner edge of the side mount channel 124. Thus any flow paths between the screen 102 and the channel 124 at this end of the screen are sealed so that fluid may not bypass the screen at these locations. The screen 101 is somewhat loosely disposed in the mounting channels when the adjustable mounts have not yet been manipulated to tighten the screen in place. 17 the seal pads 45 extend beyond the edges of the screen as necessary to effectively seal against the channel ends and seal off a possible fluid flow path through the channels. The screen 103 has side seal pads like the pads 45 and 64 for sealing the ends of its corresponding mounting channels. As shown in FIGS. 76. 123 by its corresponding adjustable mounts 75. but not shown). Preferably when tiered screens are employed the angled bar and seal strip or sealing angled bar are sized and disposed so that they extend above the screen on which they are used. FIGS. thus preventing fluid from bypassing the screen through this space. The screen 101 has an angled bar 67 like the bar 40 at its end under the bar 11. 8 and 10. Item 157 indicates an optional pneumatically powered apparatus for pulling (or pushing) the bolt of the adjustable mount to pull (or push) the top wedge member with respect to the bottom wedge member. 76 (shown) and. The screen 103 has an angled bar 60 to which is secured a seal strip 70 and which is releasably urged up sealingly against an end of the screen 102 by the adjustable mounts 76 and 78. A seal pad 45 seals over a vertical edge of the channel 124 and a portion of the pad 45a is bent against and seals against an inner lower surface of the channel 124. In one embodiment pneumatically movable bolts are used on each of twelve adjustable mount apparatuses. 74 not shown. The adjustable mounts 75 and 77 releasably urge the other end of the screen 103 sealingly up against the side mounting channels 121 and 123. The mount 35 has an inner movable wedge member 80 with a lower wedge surface 81 and an outer movable wedge member 82 with an . A seal strip 201 on the bar 67 is releasably urged sealingly upwardly against the bar 11 by the adjustable mount apparatuses 72 and 74. 73. 18 and 19 show the structure of the adjustable mounts.

the screen 420 could be flipped over so that the portion 423 seals against an end of a screen disposed below the screen 420. be formed integrally of the screen frame. the screen 400 has block seal strips 402. but not limited to a screen as disclosed in pending U.S. but instead of a seal strip connected to a bar secured to a screen frame. non-tiered) multiple screen configuration or against bars or other members adjacent a screen end.123 filed on Apr. thus reducing the upward force on the screen 102 and.S. 1993) is secured on the frame 301. eventually returning it to a loose (and removable) disposition in the side mounting channels. 1993 or as in pending U. A bolt 84 extends through a channel 85 in the wedge member 82 and an open trough 86 in the wedge member 80 which is open to the top of the wedge member. A screen 420 shown in FIG. thereby forcing the screen 102 sealingly upwardly against the screen 101. FIG. As the nut 131 is tightened. the wedge surface 83 forces the wedge member 81 up against the bottom of the frame of the screen 102. 21. 8. 21 has a frame 421 and an end channel 422 made of suitable sealing material with an upper portion 423 for sealing against a screen with an end disposed above the screen 420. Loosening of the nut 131 causes the wedge member 80 to move away from the wedge member 82 with the wedge surface 81 moving down on the wedge surface 83. application Ser. 20 is like the previously described screens. alternatively. Such a screen could serve as a middle screen in a tiered screen arrangement with the block seal strip 402 sealing the interface with an upper screen and the block seal strip 403 sealing the interface with a lower screen. The side seal strips 434 could.upper wedge surface 83. 22 illustrates a rectangular screen 430 like the screens in FIGS. 403 secured to end channels 404 and 405. application Ser.e. Instead the screen 430 has block seal strips 432 and 433 secured to its frame 431 for sealing against tiered screens at either of its ends. and 23 illustrate various rectangular screens according to the present invention. . These seal strips provide sealing for the screen 450 against adjacent screen ends in an end-to-end (i. a maximum looseness for the adjustable mount and a corresponding maximum degree of freedom for the screen within the side mounting channels). Rotation of a threaded nut 131 engages threads on the bolt 84 causing the wedge member 80 to move with respect to the wedge member 82. A screen 450 shown in FIG. 11. A cap 132 on the bolt 84 prevents the nut 131 from falling off and provides a maximum limit for travel of the nut 131 outwardly (i. The bolt is movable vertically with respect to the trough as the bolt T end 133 rotates in the channel 134. No. FIG.489 filed on Apr. FIGS.g. Also side seal strips 434 (one shown) are secured along the sides of the screen 430 to press sealingly against a top interior surface of a screen side mounting channel on the frame of a shale shaker or other device. Alternatively. No. 23 has flexible seal strips 452 releasably secured along the length of either or both ends 454 and 456. 20. A screen 303 (e. 30. The bolt 84 is disposed through a hole in the side of the mounting apparatus 12 and has a "T" end 133 movably disposed in a channel 134 in the wedge member 80. 6 and 11 but without seal strips secured to angled bars. In one aspect a screen with a seal portion at either end provides end-to-end sealing of non-tiered screens. 22.e. A screen 400 shown in FIG. 12 and 13 illustrate a screen 300 according to the present invention with lower screen support frame 301 including outer frame members 304 and cross braces 305 to which is secured an end seal strip 302 (like the previously described seal strips 42 and 68) but with a top sealing bead 306. 08/056. 08/045.

and over the screen 500. over the seal portion 505. An upward force on the screen 531 urges its end with the recess 536 up against the lower seal strip 537 along the end of the screen 530 for sealing end-to-end screen contact. one or more screen cloths covering a frame.FIG. The screen 530 may be provided with a recess 536 at its end opposite the end with the seal strip 537 and the screen 531 may be provided with an extending top seal portion 532 at its end opposite the end with the recess 536. In conclusion. 26 illustrates rectangular screens 550 and 551 according to the present invention. and/or one or more cloth support structures or grids--all such as but not limited to the items referred to or described in the text hereof. Upward force on the screen 501 (as applied by the adjustable mounts previously described) urges the end of the screen 501 with the recess 506 sealingly against the end of the screen 500 and its top seal portion 505 for sealing end-to-end screen contact in which a relatively flat surface is presented to fluids flowing from the screen 501. FIG. An end 557 of the frame 559 sealingly abuts the flexible seal member 556. FIG. 25 illustrates rectangular screens 530 and 531 according to the present invention. shown and claimed without departing from the spirit and the scope of this invention. Upward urging of the screen 551 urges the recess 558 sealingly against the top seal portion 555 for sealing end-to-end contact of the screens 550 and 551. The screens in FIGS. The top seal portion 532 and the lower seal strip 537 extend from one side of the screen to the other at that end of the screen. A flexible seal member 556 is secured to a side portion 554 of the angled bar 552. Certain changes can be made in the subject matter described. 20-26 are shown somewhat schematically and it is to be understood that each of them may include: a frame of multiple members such as end and interconnected side members. The screens 550 and 551 are like the screens previously described herein. The screen 530 is similar to the previously described screens 300 and 102. 24 illustrates rectangular screens 500 and 501 according to the present invention. Of course the screen 501 may have an angled bar 502 secured at its end opposite the end with the recess 506 if desired and the screen 500 can have a recess 506 at its end opposite the end with the angled bar 502 if desired. it is seen that the present invention and the embodiments disclosed herein and those covered by the appended claims are well adapted to carry out the objectives and obtain the ends set forth. The screen 531 has a recess 536 which receives the top seal portion 532 and the lower seal strip 537. A recess 506 of the screen 501 receives the top seal portion 505. The top seal portion 505 and the angled bar 502 extend from side to side of that end of the screen. but a frame 533 of the screen 530 includes an extending top seal portion 532 with a lower seal strip 537 secured to an underside 539 thereof. It is realized that changes are possible within the scope of this invention and it is further intended . Screen 500 is similar to the screen 300 and 102 previously described herein. An end recess 558 in a frame 559 of the screen 551 extends from one side of the screen 551 to the other for co-acting with the top seal portion 555 of the angled bar 552 of the screen 550. Preferably in certain embodiments the screen surfaces are flat including the portion-532top-of-screen-531 interface. A top seal portion 555 of the angled bar 552 extends beyond the screen end. but the screen 551 has an angled member 552 secured to a frame 553 at one of its ends and extending from one side of the screen to the other at that end. Preferably the screen surfaces are flat in certain embodiments including the top seal portion 555 so that the portion-555-screen551 interface is flat. therefore. but an angled bar 502 secured to a frame 503 of the screen 500 has a side portion 504 at a right angle to a top seal portion 505.

7. 11. FIG. 1. FIG. 11 is a top view. 19 is a side view of the device of FIG. 5 is an end view of the frame of FIG. . FIG. FIG. 18. FIG. 3. 17 is an end view of the structure shown in FIG. 4 is a side view of the frame of FIG. FIG. FIG. 6 is a top view of a screen and screen mounting devices of the shaker of FIG. FIG.that each element or step recited in any of the following claims is to be understood as referring to all equivalent elements or steps. 16 is a partial top view of another end of the screen of FIG. 12 is a side view of the screen of FIG. 1. FIG. FIG. 6. 14. 18 is a top view of an adjustable mounting device according to the present invention. 8 is an end view of the items of FIG. 6. 1 is a perspective view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. FIG. 11. FIG. 7 is a side view in cross-section of the items of FIG. 6. DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A more particular description of embodiments of the invention briefly summarized above may be had by references to the embodiments which are shown in the drawings which form a part of this specification. 14 is a partial top view of part of the screen shown in FIG. These drawings illustrate certain preferred embodiments and are not to be used to improperly limit the scope of the invention which may have other equally effective or equivalent embodiments. 2 is a partial perspective view partially in cross-section of the shale shaker of FIG. 8. FIG. FIG. 10 is an enlarged view of the structure circled in FIG. FIG. 3. 13 is a side view in cross section of the screen of FIG. 15 is a partial side view in cross section along line 15--15 of the screen of FIG. 14. FIG. 9 is an enlarged view of the structure circled in FIG. The following claims are intended to cover the invention as broadly as legally possible in whatever form its principles may be utilized. 1. 3 is a top view of a frame of the shale shaker of FIG. FIG. FIG. of a screen according to this invention. 16. partially cut-away. FIG.

to shale shakers with vibrating screens. and screens for shale shakers. 21 is a side view of a screen according to the present invention. The screens catch and remove solids from the mud as the mud passes through them.FIG.g. etc. In shale shakers which use a plurality of screens.e. recirculation of the drilled solids can create viscosity and gel problems in the mud. FIG. to devices with vibrating screens. e. 22 is a side view of a screen according to the present invention. to filtering screens. between screens and between screens and the edges of screen supporting members. 2. devices which use them. is pumped through a hollow drill string (pipe. an acceptable level of the separation of liquid (e. Mud which leaks through these areas is not screened. The screen may have two or more overlying layers of screen cloth.) down into a well and exits through holes in a drillbit. FIG. shale shakers. Description of Related Art The prior art discloses a wide variety of vibrating screens. The fineness or .g. an unbalanced weight on a rotating shaft connected to the frame. a device which typically has a series of screens arranged in tiered or flat disposition with respect to each other. drill collar. and to methods and devices for mounting one or more screens in a shale shaker. 25 is a side view of a screen according to the present invention. typically a mixture of clay and water and various additives. If drilled solids are not removed from the mud used during the drilling operation. to shale shakers with sealed tiered screens. problems are encountered with the leakage of fluid. as well as increasing wear in mud pumps and other mechanical equipment used for drilling. FIG. 26 is a side view of a screen according to the present invention. The mud picks up cuttings (rock bits) and other solids from the well and carries them upwardly away from the bit and out of the well in a space between the well walls and the drill string. 20 is a side view of a screen according to the present invention. The need for solids control in drilling mud in hydrocarbon well drilling is well known in the prior art. the solids-laden mud is introduced to a shale shaker. 24 is a side view of a screen according to the present invention. The frame of the vibrating screen is resiliently suspended or mounted upon a support and is caused to vibrate by a vibrating mechanism. e. In some shale shakers a fine screen cloth is used with the vibrating screen. Drilling mud. FIG. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. FIG. bit. oil) from cuttings or drilling solids is not achieved. i.g. mud. Field Of The Invention The present invention is directed to vibratory sealing screens. Each screen may be vibrated by vibratory equipment to create a flow of trapped solids in either direction on top surfaces of the screen for removal and disposal of solids. At the top of the well. 23 is a side view of a screen according to the present invention. FIG.

In another embodiment a strip of plastic is employed without any angled metal member. and apparatus for sealing off flow paths between adjacent screens. one or more screens. an end or a side channel or plate on the frame) a seal strip on the screen (or alternatively on the channel) seals off a screen-basket or screen-channel interface. channel ends. Preferably seals on screens are beneath the level of screen mounting channels so that a smooth unobstructed uncluttered surface is presented to fluid material to be screened which flows over the tops of the screens. In one aspect screens are held tightly in place and in sealing contact with screen channel mounts by adjustable wedges underneath the screens which are manipulable either to tighten screens in place or to loosen them for removal. one or both ends of a screen has a seal member secured thereto for end-to-end sealing with adjacent screens or members on the same level. the screens are pressed against seals which are disposed on and/or secured to the mounting apparatus. seals are effected between adjacent screen ends. SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION The present invention. a "basket" or screen mounting apparatus. For tiered screens.g. flow paths through and at the ends of screen mounting channels and flow paths between screens and the screen mounting channels. In one aspect a screen is provided which has a seal strip extending along its end which is positioned to abut an adjacent screen. and areas not so forced against side channels have sealing members to seal off these areas (e. Preferably. Certain prior art screens have sealing members along opposed sides of the screens to seal downwardly against or upwardly against a mounting surface. channel ends). between screen sides and screen side mounting channels. Other sealing members are.g. this seal strip and/or angles member preferably projects above. . Alternatively these side sealing members can be connected to the mounting channels or frame. basket vibrating apparatus. In other prior art devices. of any prior art which addresses the problem of leakage at ends of channel mountings which hold screens. e. screen sides are sealed by being forced against side channels and/or with side seal strips on the screens or on the side channels. screen ends are sealed with seal strips against other screen ends or mounting members. and screen-mounting-apparatus/screen interfaces. Applicant is unaware. Most preferably.g.. preferably. however. and seals on screens seal off fluid flow paths through the ends of the side mounting channels so that fluid cannot pass by the screens along or through the channels. With respect to an end of a screen which abuts the basket (e.coarseness of the mesh of a screen may vary depending upon mud flow rate and the size of the solids to be removed. In another embodiment. a screen mounting member such as a "C" shaped channel. The first screen surface for contacting another screen disposed adjacent but above the first screen. in one device this is done on four sides of a rectangular screen. i. each screen is mounted so that substantially all of its periphery is sealed in one way or another.e. and preferably with a bead or raised portion along its length for contacting an adjacent member. In one embodiment a screen seal strip includes an angled metal strip with a strip of rubber attached to it along its length. in one embodiment includes a shale shaker with a frame. disposed on sides of the screens to seal off various critical screen-channel interfaces.

non-obvious screens. therefore. It is. A shale shaker apparatus with such screens in which an uncluttered or substantially uncluttered surface is presented to fluid such as drilling mud which is to be screened. To one of skill in this art who has the benefits of this invention's realizations. and suggestions. Certain embodiments of this invention are not limited to any particular individual feature disclosed here. and.It is preferred in certain embodiments of screens according to this invention that both end seal strips and side seal members be removably secured to the screen frame (or alternatively to screen mounting apparatus) so that worn or damaged seals may be easily and quickly replaced. A screen with removable sealing elements and a shale shaker with one or more such screens. In other embodiments seal strips or side seal members are secured to or formed integrally of screen frame members permanently or semi-permanently. but include combinations of them distinguished from the prior art with their structures and functions. filtering screens. and shale shakers with such items. useful. its teachings. Those skilled in the art who have the benefit of this invention. The claims of this invention should be read to include any legally equivalent devices or methods which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention. The present invention recognizes and addresses the previously-mentioned problems and longfelt needs and provides a solution to those problems and a satisfactory meeting of those needs in its various possible embodiments and equivalents thereof. disclosures. and suggestions will appreciate that the conceptions of this disclosure may be used as a basis or creative impetus for designing other structures. preferably with such apparatus beneath the screens. There are. efficient. A shale shaker with a plurality of screens. unique. A shale shaker with screen mounting apparatus having screen sealing elements removably secured thereto. methods and systems for carrying out and practicing the present invention. in one particular aspect. additional aspects of the invention described below and which may be included in the subject matter of the claims to this invention. an object of at least certain preferred embodiments of the present invention to provide: New. and A shale shaker with a plurality of screens and mounting apparatus with which it is not necessary to completely remove other screens in order to remove a particular screen. of course. A screen for a shale shaker with one or more sealing elements secured thereto. and in order that the contributions of this invention to the arts may be better appreciated. teachings. Features of the invention have been broadly described so that the detailed descriptions that follow may be better understood. each sealed against adjacent screens and sealed against screen mounting apparatus of the shale shaker. Adjustable screen mounting apparatus for mounting and holding the screen in a shale shaker. such a shale shaker in which the screens are tiered. sealed screen mountings. other purposes and advantages will be appreciated from the following description of preferred .

separating. TX. pocket type and light responsive sorting. 2. said at least one first duct for directing solids laden drilling fluid to said at least one first screen deck and said at least one second duct for directing solids laden drilling fluid to said at least one second screen deck. when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.embodiments. GB) George Alexander Burnett (Aberdeen. etc. and certain methods and apparatus (e. and assorting solids sorting special items. given for the purpose of disclosure.) for sorting any items separating means Publication date: 2010-10-28 Patent application number: 20100270216 Abstract: A shale shaker for separating solids from solids laden drilling fluid is disclosed as having a basket with a scalping screen deck. at least one first screen deck and at least one second screen deck. The second plurality of second ducts are for directing solids laden drilling fluid to said second screen deck. Patent application title: SHALE SHAKER Inventors: George Alexander Burnett (Aberdeen. said at least one first duct opening arranged across a first portion of said flow tray width and said second duct opening arranged across a second portion of said flow tray width. A shale shaker for separating solids from solids laden drilling fluid.. wherein said solids laden drilling fluid flows along said flow tray in a flow direction the flow tray having a flow tray width substantially transverse to said flow direction. said first portion not overlapping said second portion. . Claims: 1. wherein said basket further comprises a flow tray having at least one first duct opening for said at least one first duct and at least one second duct opening for said at least one second duct. said shale shaker comprising a basket having at least one first screen deck and at least one second screen deck and at least one first duct and at least one second duct. and a plurality of first ducts and a plurality of second ducts. GB) Thomas Robert Larson (Montgomery. US) IPC8 Class: AB07B100FI USPC Class: 209606 Class name: Classifying.g. The basket further may have a flow tray arranged between said scalping screen deck and at least one first screen deck. the plurality of first ducts for directing solids laden drilling fluid to the at least one first screen deck. The detail in these descriptions is not intended to thwart this patent's object to claim this invention no matter how others may later disguise it by variations in form or additions of further improvements. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1.

wherein said flow tray has at least one gate opening therein and said valve is a gate valve comprising a gate tray slideable from closed position closing off said gate opening to a position closing said gate opening. wherein the other of the first and second ducts has a duct opening planar with a floor of said flow tray. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. wherein said flow tray has a floor and at least one of said first and second duct openings is planar with said floor of said flow tray. wherein said large solids pass over said scalping screen into one of a: skip. wherein said at least one first duct opening is a plurality of first duct openings. 9. and said at least second duct opening is a plurality of second duct openings. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 6. and ditch. wherein said at least one first screen deck is an upper screen deck and said at least one second screen deck is a lower screen deck. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 12.3. wherein said at least one first screen deck has a screened fluid flow tray thereunder for collecting and guiding said screened drilling fluid. said solids laden drilling fluid flowing therefrom on to said flow tray and said large solids passing over said scalping screen. the first and second duct openings arranged at said discharge end of said flow tray. the lower . 6. wherein said at least one first screen deck is an upper screen deck and said at least one second screen deck is a lower screen deck. 5. 15. said plurality of first and second duct openings arranged substantially perpendicularly to said flow direction. 11. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 8. 4. wherein said flow tray has a feed end and a discharge end. the lower screen deck at least part of which is arranged beneath said upper screen deck. 12. 7. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. wherein said flow tray further comprises a valve for directing said solids laden drilling fluid to one of said at least one first screen deck and said at least first and second duct openings. wherein said at least one second screen deck has a screened fluid flow tray thereunder for collecting and guiding said screened drilling fluid. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. further comprising a scalping screen for removing large solids from said solids laden drilling fluid. wherein said basket further comprises at least one discharge duct for directing said screened drilling fluid from said screened fluid flow tray to a sump arranged beneath said basket. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 3. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. 8. 14. 13. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. wherein said solids laden drilling fluid flows along said flow tray in a flow direction. said plurality of first duct openings interleaved with said plurality of second duct openings. 16. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. 10. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 10.

further comprising one of a skip and ditch. said basket further comprising a jetting nozzle arranged to jet screened drilling fluid into said trough to facilitate flow of solids therethrough. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 17. wherein said at least one first screen deck comprises a left-hand first screen deck and a right-hand first screen deck. further comprising at least one first screen assembly in said at least one first screen deck and at least one second screen assembly in said second screen deck. 19. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. wherein said basket has a feed end and a solids discharge end. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 24. 17. wherein the basket further comprises a flexible duct. said diverter plate to guide solids into said trough. wherein said basket further comprises a trough. said tough arranged to feed solids into said sump. wherein said at least one first screen deck has a solids discharge end and said trough is arranged thereunder. 29. wherein said at least one second screen deck comprises a left-hand and a right-hand screen deck. 26. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 27. said at least one first screen deck arranged at an uphill angle from horizontal from said feed end of said basket to said solids discharge end. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. 18. wherein said at least one first screen deck has a solids discharge end and said trough is arranged thereunder to receive solids. wherein the screening material of said second screen assembly is finer than the screening material of the first screen assembly to provide the different cut points. 22. wherein the screening material of said first screen assembly is the same as the screening material of the second screen assembly to provide the same cut point. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. wherein said first screen assembly has screening material thereon and said second screen assembly has screening material thereon. 25. 21. wherein said diverter cap guides solids into said one of said skip and said ditch. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 27. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 17. solids flowing through said trough into said flexible duct and into said sump. wherein said first screen assembly has screening material thereon and said second screen assembly has screening material thereon. 20. wherein said basket further comprises a trough and a diverter plate. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. said diverter cap to inhibit solids flowing into said trough. 24. wherein said at least one first screen deck has a solids discharge end and said trough is arranged thereunder. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. .screen deck wholly arranged beneath said upper screen deck. 23. 28. 27. further comprising a sump arranged below said basket. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 18. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 22. wherein said basket further comprises a trough and a diverter cap.

further comprising a fixed base. 34. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 32. said plurality of first ducts for directing solids laden drilling fluid to said at least one first screen deck and said second plurality of second ducts for directing solids laden drilling fluid to said second screen deck. a trough arranged in the basket at said discharge end of said at least one first deck and a diverter plate for selectively inhibiting and allowing solids discharged from the discharge end of the at least one first deck into said trough. 32. at least one first screen deck and at least one second screen deck. A method for separating solids from solids laden drilling fluid using a shale shaker comprising a basket having a flow tray with at least first and second duct openings. at least one first deck having a screen assembly and at least one second deck having a fine screen screen assembly. the basket comprising a scalping deck. a trough arranged in the basket at said discharge end of said at least one first deck and a diverter plate the method comprising the steps of flowing solids laden drilling mud on to the scalping screen large solids passing over said scalping screen and . the basket comprising a scalping deck having a scalping screen. said basket suspended from the base on at least one spring. 31. said shale shaker comprising a basket having a scalping screen deck. a basket isolated from the base. A shale shaker for separating solids from solids laden drilling fluid. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 35. wherein said basket further comprises a screened fluid flow tray arranged under said at least one first screen deck. at least one first screen deck and at least one second screen deck. the at least one first deck having a feed end and a solids discharge end. at least first and second ducts. at least one first deck and at least one second deck. said basket further comprising a vibrating apparatus for vibrating said basket and the at least one first and second screen decks arranged therein. and a plurality of first ducts and a plurality of second ducts. 36. further comprising a flexible duct leading from said trough into a sump arranged beneath the basket for collecting screened drilling fluid. wherein said basket further comprises a flow tray arranged between said scalping screen deck and said at least one first screen deck. the shale shaker comprising a base. 33. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 33. said screened fluid flow tray having a selector opening therein and a selector gate valve for selectively opening and closing said selector opening to selectively allow screened drilling fluid to flow therethrough on to said at least one second screen deck. the at least one first deck having a feed end and a solids discharge end. A shale shaker for separating solids from solids laden drilling fluid. A shale shaker as claimed in claim 1. said at least one first duct directing solids laden drilling fluid to said at least one first screen deck and said at least one second duct directing solids laden drilling fluid to said second screen deck. through said at least first and second duct openings into said at least first and second ducts. 35. wherein said flow tray has at least one gate opening therein and a gate valve comprising a gate tray slideable from a closed position closing off said gate opening to an open position opening said gate opening allowing solids laden drilling mud to flow therethrough. a basket isolated from the base. the method comprising the steps of flowing solids laden drilling fluid over said flow tray. 37. A method for separating solids laden drilling fluid with a shale shaker. the shale shaker comprising a base.30.

solids laden drilling fluid passing through the scalping deck to said screen assembly of said at least one first screen deck sized solids passing over said screen assembly into said trough guided by said diverter plate into said trough. or other screen holding or mounting structure mounted in or over a receiving receptacle or tank and vibrating apparatus for vibrating one or more screens. A method in accordance with claim 37. a drill bit is arranged on the end of a drill string. 38.709 filed on Oct. which is a continuation-in-part of U. 2008 entitled "Systems and Methods For the Recovery of Lost Circulation and Similar Material" both of which are incorporated by reference herein for all they disclose. Description: CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS [0001]This Application is a continuation-in-part of Ser. 12/490. the screen or screens used to treat material is sealed in place on a screen deck. to shale shakers with structure for converting shaker fluid flow paths from series to parallel. [0006]In the drilling of a borehole in the construction of an oil or gas well. to methods for using these things. application Ser. 39. No.S. Often. which is rotated to bore the borehole through a formation. in a screen basket. deck. Field of the Invention [0003]The present invention is directed to drilling fluid processing systems. shale shakers. 12/287. flowing the sized solids through the trough is facilitated by a jet of drilling fluid. and. Material to be treated is introduced to the screen(s) either by flowing it directly onto the screen(s) or by flowing it into a container. The drilling mud is also used to carry the cuttings produced by the drill bit and other solids to the surface through an annulus formed between the drill . Typically such apparatuses have a basket. [0004]2. A method in accordance with claim 38. 24. or on screen mounting structure. or "possum belly" from which it then flows to the screen(s). shale shakers use screens to treat drilling fluid contaminated with undesirable solids. and vice versa. 2009 entitled "Shale Shaker flow Diverter". A drilling fluid known as "drilling mud" is pumped through the drill string to the drill bit to lubricate the drill bit. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION [0002]1. No.492 filed on Jun. said sump also collecting screened drilling fluid screened by said fine mesh screens of said at least one second screen deck. further comprising the step of flowing the sized solids from said trough into a sump under said basket. 10. in certain particular aspects. Description of the Related Art [0005]In the oil and gas industries. tank.

which causes the basket and the screens fixed thereto to shake. This is at least partly achieved with a vibratory separator. the motor rotates the rotor and the offset clump weight. . The screens may be substantially planar or have a slight crown. It is not uncommon to have 30 to 100 m3 of drilling fluid in circulation in a borehole. the rate of penetration changes at the possible detriment of collapsing the borehole. which has a drive rotor provided with an offset clump weight.string and the borehole. The first part of the process is to separate the solids from the solids laden drilling mud.730. [0008]Shale shakers generally comprise an open bottomed basket having one open discharge end and a solid walled feed end. the drilling mud passing through the screens and the solids above the screens. The drilling mud may also carry lost circulation materials for sealing porous sections of the borehole. The drilling mud contains inter alia expensive synthetic oil-based lubricants and it is normal therefore to recover and re-use the used drilling mud. but this requires inter alia the solids to be removed from the drilling mud. A skip or ditch is provided beneath the open discharge end of the basket. The solids can then be disposed of in a landfill site or by dumping at sea in the environment from which the solids came. This is achieved by processing the drilling mud. A motor is fixed to the basket. The flow of solids laden drilling fluid may form a pool on the inclined screens. The density of the drilling mud affects the rate of penetration of the drill bit. Further processing equipment such as centrifuges and hydrocyclones may be used to further clean the mud of solids. In use. [0009]The rectangular screens may be arranged at an angle to horizontal.S. 5. The shaking motion also induces the solids to move along the screens towards the open discharge end. such as a seven degrees incline from the feed end to the discharge end of the shale shaker. The density of the drilling mud is closely controlled to inhibit the borehole from collapse and to ensure that drilling is carried out optimally. A number of rectangular screens are arranged over the open bottom of the basket. The solids are covered in contaminates and residues. the solids may be used as a material in the construction industry or have other industrial uses. WO 96/33792 and WO 98/16328. The angle may be adjustable. The screens are generally fixed in the basket and the basket is adjustable to adjust the angle of the screens relative to horizontal. Solids laden mud is introduced at the feed end of the basket on to the screens. The action of the vibratory mechanism induces solids to climb the inclined screens to the discharge end of the shaker and into the ditch or skip. The acidity of the drilling mud may also be adjusted according to the type of formation strata being drilled through. Pat.265. The recovered drilling mud is received in the receptor for further processing and the solids pass over the discharge end of the basket into the ditch or skip. By adjusting the density of the drilling mud. such as those shale shakers disclosed in U. [0007]The resultant solids. Alternatively. The shaking motion induces separation of the drilling mud from the solids. known herein as "drill cuttings" are processed to remove substantially all of the residues and contaminates from the solids. No. The basket is arranged on springs above a receptor for receiving recovered drilling mud.

A number of solutions have been proposed to tackle this problem. A vibratory mechanism inducing an elliptical motion will induce the solids to move in a direction of the longest chord of the ellipse. An example of this type of screen is disclosed in GB-A-1. [0013]A problem associated with shale shakers is that screens used therein tend to blind. a vibratory mechanism inducing a circular vibration will tend to throw solids from the screen into the air in random directions. for example of a size in the range of 50-200 μ or more. the elongate hook is hooked on to a tensioning device arranged along each side of a shale shaker. . such as clay. The layers of mesh are joined at each side edge by a strip which is in the form of an elongate hook. for example of a particle size in the range of 50-60 μ or larger. over which the layers of mesh are tensioned.948 and an example of a shale shaker suitable for receiving the pre-tensioned type screens is disclosed in GB-A-2. The screen is then inserted into C-channel rails arranged in a basket of a shale shaker.663 in which a screen assembly using two layers of screening material in a sandwich and allowing the layers of screening material to move independently to dislodge any near sized particles lodged in one of the screens. [0015]It is also advantageous to have a simple reliable separator to inhibit down-time for maintenance and repair.526. without the filtering device clogging up with the small particles. In use. [0012]The hook-strip type of screen comprises several rectangular layers of mesh in a sandwich. usually comprising one or two layers of fine grade mesh and a supporting mesh having larger mesh holes and heavier gauge wire. especially when the solids are gummy.526. although the screen tends to suffer fast degradation due to sudden deceleration of the solids as they meet the screen. which run along the length of the basket of the shaker. [0011]The screens are generally of one of two types: hook-strip.176. The layers of mesh are pre-tensioned on a rigid support comprising a rectangular angle iron frame and adhered thereto. A shale shaker having a vibratory mechanism inducing a very thin ellipse is known as a linear shale shaker and induces fast movement of solids along the screen. The supporting mesh may be provided with or replaced by a panel having apertures therein.424.578. [0016]It is preferable in certain circumstances to retain particles.[0010]Generally.663. However. such as disclosed in GB-A1. and pre-tensioned. The pre-tensioned type of screen comprises several rectangular layers of mesh. The shale shaker further comprises a crowned set of supporting members. it is the fine-meshed filters in particular that are prone to such undesired clogging. An example of this type of screen is disclosed in GB-A-1. by means of a filter. The latter type of blinding is known as near-sized particle blinding. [0014]It is advantageous to use fine-meshed filters to filter very small particles. or of a size close to the size of the mesh size of the screen. usually comprising one or two layers of fine grade mesh and a supporting mesh having larger mesh holes and heavier gauge wire.

662.288. 6. There the exiting mixture of drilling fluid.868. The lost circulation material can be coated with undesirable material which will not go through a first screen. 6.288 (all said patents incorporated by reference herein for all purposes). and the like.159. and methods for recovery of lost circulation material. and that the fracture extends horizontally away from the borehole.352.353. for example. 4. This system is susceptible to height restrictions and fine screen problems.207.952. 4.974.065. in drilling a wellbore.027.306. including. 4.510. like the drilling fluid. 5. 5.669. and mixtures. Often it is also desirable to recover and retain the lost circulation material in the drilling mud system during continuous circulation. Exiting the well is the drilling fluid of small size. [0018]A wide variety of "lost circulation materials" ("LCM") have been pumped into wellbores to fill or seal off a porous formation or to fill or seal off a wellbore fracture so that a proper route for drilling fluid circulation is re-established.018. Pat.392.319. Often circulation is lost at some specific depth where the formation is "weak". 4. the lost circulation material of a large size.g.696.446. problems have been encountered with systems for screening . "Lost circulation" of drilling fluid occurs when.116. 5. Screening the drilling mud for removal of undesired particulate matter can also result in removal of the lost circulation material and.. shale shakers. No. When lost circulation occurs.947. e. but not limited to. those in U. [0021]In certain prior systems. 4. screens at one.925.022. and the undesirable material of a size there-between. with the largest and smallest of the materials.972. 6. to be re-circulated. moves over and exits off of the top side of the first screen. 6.S.229. lost circulation material and undesirable material is first subjected to a coarse screening to separate the lost circulation material from the drilling fluid and undesirable material which drops to a second finer screen there-below to separate the drilling fluid from the undesirable material. drilling fluid is pumped into the fractured formation rather than being returned to the surface. is preferably cleaned and recirculated. require continuous introduction of new lost circulation material to the drilling mud downstream of the mud screening operation. [0020]There are a variety of known drilling fluid processing systems.861. Often lost circulation materials are generally divided into fibres. and is circulated back into a well. The drilling fluid and lost circulation material are then reunited for recirculation into the well. the circulation of drilling fluid to and then away from the drill bit ceases due to the porosity of the formation and/or due to fracturing of the formation through which the wellbore is being drilled. and/or materials larger than the lost circulation material.495.362.116. Expressions used to describe rocks that are susceptible to lost returns include terms like vugular limestone. Pat. 4. two or three levels.S. The addition of lost circulation material compounds the separating problems because it. and 4. [0019]One proposed solution to this separation problem is a conventional two step screening process as shown in U. therefore. Nos.459.[0017]In the past it has been common to use multiple screens at multiple levels in a shale shaker to process drilling fluid. granules. unconsolidated sand. 4. 6.991. "rotten" shale. flakes.

No. . It is beneficial to recover these sized particles and reuse them in circulated drilling mud. in certain aspects. the at least one first duct for directing solids laden drilling fluid to the at least one first screen deck and the at least one second duct for directing solids laden drilling fluid to the at least one second screen deck. [0025]Preferably. and the at least second duct opening is a plurality of second duct openings. the at least one first duct opening arranged across a first portion of the flow tray width and the second duct opening arranged across a second portion of the flow tray width. [0022]In the drilling of an oil or gas well. When the drilling fluid is circulated around the wellbore wall with cracks therein.out lost circulation material when undesirable material of the same size is also screened out.492. Wellbore Strengthening Materials may be added to circulated drilling fluid. which could cause collapse of the wellbore.S. which could cause structural problems in the wall of the wellbore and/or allow drilling fluids to escape therethorough into the formation. the pressure in the drilling fluid in the wellbore may drop. BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0024]The present invention discloses. cracks may exist in the wall of the wellbore. According to the present invention. wherein the basket further comprises a flow tray having at least one first duct opening for the at least one first duct and at least one second duct opening for the at least one second duct. These fine solids can be very invasive and increase rates of wear in parts that make up the well bore and the drill string. the solids laden drilling fluid flows along the flow tray in a flow direction. if substantial amounts of drilling fluids are lost. the first portion not overlapping the second portion. [0026]Advantageously. Accordingly. which reduces the likelihood of the cracks propagating. Ser. the plurality of first and second duct openings arranged substantially perpendicularly to the flow direction. the at least one first duct opening is a plurality of first duct openings. The Wellbore Strengthening Materials comprise sized particles. the shale shaker comprising a basket having at least one first screen deck and at least one second screen deck and at least one first duct and at least one second duct. 12/490. [0023]It is preferable to remove fine solids from the solids laden drilling fluid. A range of sizes of solids can be extracted using such a shale shaker and recirculated as Wellbore Strengthening Material in fresh drilling fluid. Furthermore. there is provided a shale shaker for separating solids from solids laden drilling fluid. Shale shakers have thus been modified to size solids in solids laden drilling fluid. Preferably. the sized particles wedge themselves in the cracks. Such a shale shaker is disclosed in U. the solids laden drilling fluid flows along the flow tray in a flow direction the flow tray having a flow tray width substantially transverse to the flow direction. the plurality of first duct openings interleaved with the plurality of second duct openings. Such cracks in the formation may propagate.

the basket further comprises at least one discharge duct for directing the screened drilling fluid from the screened fluid flow tray to a sump arranged beneath the basket. [0030]Preferably. Advantageously. Advantageously. the duct opening defined by a perimeter. the basket further comprises a trough. the shale shaker further comprises a scalping screen for removing large solids from the solids laden drilling fluid. the lower screen deck at least part of which is arranged beneath the upper screen deck. the first and second duct openings arranged at the discharge end of the flow tray. Preferably. which tend to be sharp and aggressive which wear screening material out quickly. The solids laden drilling fluid thus does not pass over a weir and the solids laden drilling fluid is split across the first and second screen decks with an even consistency. the at least one second screen deck has a screened fluid flow tray thereunder for collecting and guiding the screened drilling fluid. the at least one first screen deck has a screened fluid flow tray thereunder for collecting and guiding the screened drilling fluid. Preferably. Advantageously. wherein the at least one first screen deck has a solids discharge end and the trough is arranged thereunder to receive solids. the shale shaker further comprises a sump arranged below the basket. Preferably. . the lower screen deck wholly arranged beneath the upper screen deck. Advantageously. the flow tray has at least one gate opening therein and the valve is a gate valve comprising a gate tray slide-able from closed position closing off the gate opening to a position closing the gate opening. Preferably. Advantageously. the flow tray further comprises a valve for directing the solids laden drilling fluid to one of the at least one first screen deck and the at least first and second duct openings. the duct opening is in the form of a planar opening a floor of the flow tray. the flow tray has a floor and at least one of the first and second duct openings is planar with the floor of the flow tray. which reduces downtime of the shale shaker. It is advantageous for the screen assemblies to wear evenly. the flow tray has a feed end and a discharge end. [0028]Preferably. the large solids pass over the scalping screen into one of a: skip.[0027]Advantageously. Preferably. the solids laden drilling fluid flowing therefrom on to the flow tray and the large solids passing over the scalping screen. the duct opening is perpendicular to the floor of the flow tray. the at least one first screen deck is an upper screen deck and the at least one second screen deck is a lower screen deck. [0029]Preferably. the ditch comprises an auger which moves the solids into a hopper of a solids conveying apparatus. Preferably the trough is made from a composite material. the tough arranged to feed solids into the sump. Preferably. An overflow from a weir tends to contain more fluid and low density solids and the fluid left in behind the weir tends to contain high density solids. such a positive pressure pneumatic conveying apparatus. at least a portion of the perimeter is planar with the floor of the flow tray. Advantageously. although it may be made from a sheet steel or other metal or plastics material. the at least one first screen deck is an upper screen deck and the at least one second screen deck is a lower screen deck. the other of the first and second ducts has a duct opening planar with a floor of the flow tray. and ditch. Preferably. so that all of the solids laden drilling fluid passes through the duct openings and noen gets trapped on the flow tray. so that all screens can be changed at one time. Preferably.

the basket further comprises a trough and a diverter cap. the first screen assembly has screening material thereon and the second screen assembly has screening material thereon. which normally occurs when drilling the top first portion of the well. solids flowing through the trough into the flexible duct and into the sump. such as when boring a large diameter hole. [0031]Preferably. the first screen assembly has screening material thereon and the second screen assembly has screening material thereon. the basket angle can be adjusted to alter the angle of the at least one first and second screen decks. Preferably. the at least one first screen deck arranged at an uphill angle from horizontal from the feed end of the basket to the solids discharge end. Advantageously. [0035]Preferably. the basket further comprises a flexible duct. the at least one second screen deck comprises a left-hand and a right-hand screen deck. Advantageously. the diverter cap to inhibit solids flowing into the trough. wherein the diverter cap guides solids into the one of the skip and the ditch. the diverter plate to guide solids into the trough. [0033]Preferably. the at least one first screen deck comprises a left-hand first screen deck and a right-hand first screen deck. Advantageously. wherein the at least one first screen deck has a solids discharge end and the trough is arranged thereunder. wherein the at least one first screen deck has a solids discharge end and the trough is arranged thereunder. . wherein the screening material of the first screen assembly is the same as the screening material of the second screen assembly to provide the same cut point. the basket further comprises a trough and a diverter plate. Advantageously. The flexible duct preferably leads from a side wall of the basket to a sump arranged therebelow. the at least one first and second screen decks are arranged to be horizontal. The shale shaker is most likely to be operating in series mode with this arrangement. [0036]Alternatively. the basket has a feed end and a solids discharge end. the shale shaker further comprises at least one first screen assembly in the at least one first screen deck and at least one second screen assembly in the second screen deck. Preferably. [0034]Advantageously. the flexible duct allowing the basket to isolate the basket from the base to inhibit vibrations passing to the base. the first and second screen decks are arranged at an uphill angle of between three and twelve degrees and most preferably seven degrees. Parallel mode tends to be used when large volumes of drilling fluid are required in a drilling operation. The shale shaker is most likely to be operating in parallel mode with this arrangement. wherein the screening material of the second screen assembly is finer than the screening material of the first screen assembly to provide the different cut points. [0032]Preferably.Advantageously. the shale shaker further comprises one of a skip and ditch. the basket further comprising a jetting nozzle arranged to jet screened drilling fluid into the trough to facilitate flow of solids therethrough. Alternatively.

at least first and second ducts. The present invention also provides a method for separating solids from solids laden drilling fluid using a shale shaker comprising a basket having a flow tray with at least first and second duct openings. the shale shaker further comprises a fixed base. the gate opening is arranged upstream of the plurality of first and second ducts. the screened fluid flow tray having a selector opening therein and a selector gate valve for selectively opening and closing the selector opening to selectively allow screened drilling fluid to flow therethrough on to the at least one second screen deck. the shale shaker comprising a base. [0041]The present invention also provides a shale shaker for separating solids from solids laden drilling fluid. the shale shaker comprising a basket having a scalping screen deck. [0039]Preferably. the plurality of first ducts for directing solids laden drilling fluid to the at least one first screen deck and the second plurality of second ducts for directing solids laden drilling fluid to the second screen deck. and a plurality of first ducts and a plurality of second ducts. [0038]The present invention also provides a shale shaker for separating solids from solids laden drilling fluid. [0042]Preferably. the basket further comprising a vibrating apparatus for vibrating the basket and the at least one first and second screen decks arranged therein. a basket isolated from the base. at least one first deck and at least one second deck. the method comprising the steps of flowing solids laden drilling fluid over the flow tray. at least one first screen deck and at least one second screen deck. a trough arranged in the basket at the discharge end of the at least one first deck and a diverter plate for selectively inhibiting and allowing solids discharged from the discharge end of the at least one first deck into the trough. the shale shaker further comprises a flexible duct leading from the trough into a sump arranged beneath the basket for collecting screened drilling fluid.[0037]Preferably. the at least one first deck having a feed end and a solids discharge end. the basket comprising a scalping deck. such that no or only a little solids laden drilling fluid would reach the plurality of first and second ducts. wherein the basket further comprises a flow tray arranged between the scalping screen deck and the at least one first screen deck. the at least one first duct directing solids laden drilling fluid to the at least one first screen deck and the at least one second duct directing solids laden drilling fluid to the second screen deck. the flow tray has at least one gate opening therein and a gate valve comprising a gate tray slideable from a closed position closing off the gate opening to an open position opening the gate opening allowing solids laden drilling mud to flow therethrough. through the at least first and second duct openings into the at least first and second ducts. . the basket further comprises a screened fluid flow tray arranged under the at least one first screen deck. at least one first screen deck and at least one second screen deck. the basket suspended from the base on at least one spring. Preferably. [0040]Advantageously.

the system including: a vibratable basket for receiving an input flow of drilling fluid with solids therein. or vice-versa. The present invention discloses. in one embodiment according to the present invention has a screen or screens at separate levels as described herein according to the present invention. Conversion apparatus permits this flow to be selectively changed from parallel to series. [0047]A vibratory separator or shale shaker. conversion apparatus associated with the screen assemblies for selectively controlling the input flow to select one of series flow and parallel flow to the screen assemblies. the screen assemblies mounted in the vibratable basket and vibratable therewith. The present invention. a plurality of spaced-apart screen assemblies including a first screen assembly and a second screen assembly positioned below the first screen assembly. [0046]The present invention discloses. in certain embodiments. the at least one first deck having a feed end and a solids discharge end. and vice versa. [0044]Preferably. multiple screens at different. in certain aspects. Advantageously. a "basket" or screen mounting apparatus on or in the base or frame. a basket isolated from the base. at least one first deck having a screen assembly and at least one second deck having a fine screen screen assembly. in one particular aspect to multiBurnett. methods and systems for processing drilling fluid to recover components thereof and. the shale shaker comprising a base. and drilling fluid flowable through the second screen assembly and flowable down therefrom. two lowermost screens receive flow from a higher screen. In one particular aspect. a trough arranged in the basket at the discharge end of the at least one first deck and a diverter plate the method comprising the steps of flowing solids laden drilling mud on to the scalping screen large solids passing over the scalping screen and solids laden drilling fluid passing through the scalping deck to the screen assembly of the at least one first screen deck sized solids passing over the screen assembly into the trough guided by the diverter plate into the trough. [0045]In certain particular aspects. the method further comprises the step of flowing the sized solids from the trough into a sump under the basket. spaced apart distinct levels according to the . the basket comprising a scalping deck having a scalping screen. a system for processing a mixture of drilling fluid and solid material to separate at least one component of the mixture by size from the mixture. in certain aspects.[0043]The present invention also provides a method for separating solids laden drilling fluid with a shale shaker. flowing of the sized solids is facilitated by a jet of drilling fluid. screen shale shakers in which fluid flow paths can be selectively changed from series to parallel. the sump also collecting screened drilling fluid screened by the fine mesh screens of the at least one second screen deck. drilling fluid flowable through the first screen assembly. such methods and systems employs a novel shale shaker according to the present invention with screening apparatus including multiple screens and conversion apparatus for changing a first separation mode from material flowing from one screen to another in series to a second separation made in which fluid flows to multiple screens in parallel. includes a vibratory separator or shale shaker with a base or frame.

and screening the flow to each screening assembly. a first flow channel through the body for effecting system parallel flow to the screen assemblies. in certain aspects. the screen assemblies mounted in the vibratable basket and vibratable therewith. In other aspects inserts adjacent screens. [0051]The present invention discloses. in certain aspects. an insert between screens is a movable gate structure between screens provides the mode conversion feature. flowing drilling fluid with solids to the screen assemblies. a conversion apparatus for a system for processing a mixture of drilling fluid and solid material to separate at least one component of the mixture from the mixture. and drilling fluid with lost circulation material therein. etc. in certain embodiments. Such a shale shaker can treat drilling fluid with solids therein. [0049]In certain particular aspects. e. two lowermost screens can receive flow from a higher screen in parallel or in series. vibrating apparatus.. debris. The present invention.g. [0048]The present invention discloses. methods and systems for processing drilling fluid to recover components thereof and. [0052]In certain particular aspects. the separated lost circulation material is recovered and used. a plurality of spaced apart screen assemblies including a first screen assembly and a second screen assembly positioned below the first screen assembly. drilling fluid flowable through the first screen assembly and the second screen assembly down therefrom. the method further including selecting one of a system series flow to the screen assemblies or a system parallel flow to the screen assemblies using a conversion apparatus. In certain aspects. includes . the system including a vibratable basket for receiving an input flow of drilling fluid with solids therein. the system as any herein according to the present invention. and a second flow channel through the body for effecting system series flow to the screen assemblies. and appropriately located flow-back barriers provide this mode conversion feature. [0053]A vibratory separator or shale shaker. the method including introducing the flow of drilling fluid with solids to a system for separating at least one component from the flow.present invention. such methods and systems employs a novel shale shaker according to the present invention with screening apparatus below an initial scalper screen apparatus for separating lost circulation material (and/or material of similar size) from used drilling fluid. In one particular aspect. the conversion apparatus associated with the screen assemblies for selectively controlling the input flow to select one of series flow and parallel flow. the conversion apparatus including: a body. [0050]The present invention discloses. in one particular aspect for separating lost circulation material (or lost circulation material along with solids of similar size) from used drilling fluid. appropriate flow channelling. in certain aspects. cuttings. a method for treating a flow of drilling fluid with solids. and a collection tank or receptacle. in one embodiment according to the present invention has a screen or screens at separate levels as described herein according to the present invention. mode conversion apparatus.

non-obvious drilling fluid processing systems and shale shakers. screens at three or four different. and drilling fluid with lost circulation material (and/or material of similar size) therein. therefore. Features of the invention have been broadly described so that the detailed descriptions that follow may be better understood. Characteristics and advantages of the present invention described above and additional features and benefits will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of preferred embodiments and referring to the accompanying drawings. unique. but include combinations of them distinguished from the prior art in their structures. [0056]In addition to the specific objects stated below for at least certain preferred embodiments of the invention. an object of at least certain preferred embodiments of the present invention to provide the embodiments and aspects listed above and: New. The claims of this invention are to be read to include any legally equivalent devices or methods which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention. cuttings. It is. Such shale shakers with screens at multiple levels and mode conversion apparatus so that material is screenable by multiple screens in series or in parallel selectively as desired. The present invention recognizes and addresses the problems and needs in this area and provides a solution to those problems and a satisfactory meeting of those needs in its various possible embodiments and equivalents thereof.g. of course. its teachings. other .a vibratory separator or shale shaker with a base or frame. functions. and a collection tank or receptacle. Such a shale shaker can treat drilling fluid contaminated with solids. useful. and/or results achieved. and methods of their use for separating and recovering lost circulation material (and/or material of similar size) from spent drilling fluid. and methods of the use of these systems and shakers. teachings. efficient. nonobvious drilling fluid processing systems.. disclosures. [0055]Certain embodiments of this invention are not limited to any particular individual feature disclosed here. in certain aspects. and suggestions. provides a separate exit stream from a second screening level which is primarily lost circulation material (and/or material of similar size). and suggestions will appreciate that the conceptions of this disclosure may be used as a creative basis for designing other structures. debris. shale shakers. and in order that the contributions of this invention to the arts may be better appreciated. other objects and purposes will be readily apparent to one of skill in this art who has the benefit of this invention's teachings and disclosures. spaced-apart distinct levels according to the present invention. e. a "basket" or screen mounting apparatus on or in the base or frame. Those skilled in the art who have the benefit of this invention. Such a shale shaker. vibrating apparatus. There are. efficient. To one of skill in this art who has the benefits of this invention's realizations. Such shale shakers with screens at four levels according to the present invention with the last two screens operating in series or in parallel. the present invention includes features and advantages which are believed to enable it to advance the processing of drilling fluid with lost circulation material (and/or material of similar size) therein. additional aspects of the invention described below and which may be included in the subject matter of the claims to this invention. unique. useful. etc. and new. [0054]Accordingly. methods and systems for carrying out and practicing the present invention.

1 is a schematic view of a system according to the present invention.purposes and advantages will be appreciated from the following description of certain preferred embodiments. [0061]FIG. certain embodiments. given for the purpose of disclosure. The detail in these descriptions is not intended to thwart this patent's object to claim this invention no matter how others may later attempt to disguise it by variations in form. [0067]FIG. [0066]FIG. and/or enumerated improvements and/or technical advantages and/or elements in claims to this invention. 3B is a side cutaway view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. 1A is a perspective view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. some. and certain preferable features of the invention are set out herein. [0065]FIG. 2A is a side view. [0059]FIG. 2A. 3A is a side cutaway view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0058]A more particular description of embodiments of the invention briefly summarized above may be had by references to the embodiments which are shown in the drawings which form a part of this specification. which is done by the claims. of a shale shaker according to the present invention. . Any combination of aspects or features shown in any aspect or embodiment can be used except where such aspects or features are mutually exclusive. [0064]FIG. nor is it intended to be limiting of the scope of the invention or of the claims in any way. 4B is a schematic side view of the system of FIG. The Abstract that is part hereof is neither intended to define the invention. 2B is a cross-sectional view of the screens and related structure of the shale shaker of FIG. Certain aspects. or additions of further improvements. changes. 2C is a cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. [0063]FIG. described. 4A. partially in cross-section. [0057]It will be understood that the various embodiments of the present invention may include one. [0062]FIG. when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. 4A is a perspective exploded view of a system according to the present invention. These drawings illustrate certain preferred embodiments and are not to be used to improperly limit the scope of the invention which may have other equally effective or legally equivalent embodiments. or all of the disclosed. [0060]FIG.

5A. 7A is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. [0070]FIG. 7D is a perspective view of a flow barrier according to the present invention. [0069]FIG. 6C is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. [0084]FIG. 5A'. [0072]FIG. [0073]FIG. 6G is a cross-section view of the diverter of FIG. 6A. [0077]FIG. [0079]FIG. 5B is a schematic side view of the system of FIG. 6E in the shaker of FIG. 6D is a side cross-sectional view of the shale shaker of FIG. 6E is a perspective view of a diverter according to the present invention. 5A'' is a continuation of FIG. [0085]FIG. [0076]FIG. 8A is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. .[0068]FIG. 8B is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. [0075]FIG. 5A' is a perspective exploded view of a system according to the present invention. [0080]FIG. [0071]FIG. [0081]FIG. 7B is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. 6A. 8D is a perspective view of a channel apparatus according to the present invention. 6C. 6A. 6A is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. [0078]FIG. 6F is a front view of the shaker of FIG. [0074]FIG. [0082]FIG. 7C is a perspective view of a flow barrier according to the present invention. 6B is a side cross-sectional view of the shale shaker of FIG. [0083]FIG. 8C is a perspective view of an insert according to the present invention.

[0099]FIG. [0094]FIG. 11B is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. [0088]FIG. 9C is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. [0090]FIG. 11A is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. 9B is a side cross-sectional view of the shale shaker of FIG. 11E is a top view of an insert according to the present invention. 10G is a perspective view of an insert according to the present invention. [0092]FIG. 10C is a perspective view of an insert according to the present invention. [0095]FIG. 9A. 10F is a perspective view of an insert according to the present invention. 9F is a top view of the insert of FIG. 8E is a perspective view of an insert according to the present invention. 10E is a perspective view of a channel apparatus according to the present invention. [0097]FIG. 9A is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. 9C. [0103]FIG. 10C. 9D is a side cross-sectional view of the shale shaker of FIG. [0098]FIG. [0104]FIG. 9E is a perspective view of an insert according to the present invention. 9E.[0086]FIG. [0101]FIG. [0102]FIG. [0096]FIG. 10A is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. [0089]FIG. [0091]FIG. [0100]FIG. [0087]FIG. [0093]FIG. 10D is a top view of the insert of FIG. 11C is a top view of an insert according to the present invention. 10B is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. 11D is a top view of an insert according to the present invention. .

12F is a top view of the insert of FIG. [0115]FIG. [0116]FIG. 13D is a side cross-sectional view of the shale shaker of FIG. [0121]FIG. 12A is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. 16B is an enlarged view of part of the basket shown in FIG. [0107]FIG. [0117]FIG. 12C. 12D is a side cross-sectional view of the shale shaker of FIG. 13A is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. with parts in a first mode of operation. 13C.[0105]FIG. 12A. 12E is a perspective view of an insert according to the present invention. 16. 12B is a side cross-sectional view of the shale shaker of FIG. 15A is a side cross-sectional schematic view of an apparatus for separating and sizing solids from solids laden drilling mud. 16A is an enlarged view of part of the basket shown in FIG. 12C is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. [0110]FIG. [0109]FIG. 13C is a side cross-sectional view of a shale shaker according to the present invention. [0106]FIG. 16 is a side view in section of a basket of a shale shaker in accordance with the present invention. [0111]FIG. 14 shows a perspective view of an apparatus for separating solids from solids laden drilling mud. 13E is a perspective view of an insert according to the present invention. [0114]FIG. 13A. 12E. 13B is a side cross-sectional view of the shale shaker of FIG. 16 with parts in a second mode of operation. [0119]FIG. 15A with screen assemblies therein. [0120]FIG. [0108]FIG. 15B is an end view of the basket shown in FIG. the apparatus comprising a base and a basket. [0112]FIG. [0113]FIG. . [0118]FIG.

16C is an end view of the basket shown in FIG. [0129]Presently preferred embodiments of the invention are shown in the above-identified figures and described in detail below. in the second mode of operation. On the contrary. 16A with hidden parts shown. 16. like or identical reference numerals are used to identify common or similar elements. and are not intended to mean the claimed invention of any particular appended claim(s) or all of the appended claims. [0128]FIG. in the first mode of operation. 19A is an enlarged view in cross section of a solids diverter apparatus of the basket shown in FIG. [0130]It should be understood that the appended drawings and description herein are of preferred embodiments and are not intended to limit the invention or the appended claims. "present invention" and variations thereof mean one or more embodiment. with hidden parts shown.[0122]FIG. [0124]FIG. Various aspects and features of embodiments of the invention are described below and some are set out in the dependent claims. showing details of a solids diverter apparatus. any particular claim(s) . in the first mode of operation indicating direction of flow of solids laden drilling mud to an upper primary screen deck. [0131]As used herein and throughout all the various portions (and headings) of this patent. or required by. equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. with some hidden parts shown. The figures are not necessarily to scale and certain features and certain views of the figures may be shown exaggerated in scale or in schematic in the interest of clarity and conciseness. in the first mode of operation indicating direction of flow of solids laden drilling mud to a lower primary screen deck. Any combination of aspects and/or features described below or shown in the dependent claims can be used except where such aspects and/or features are mutually exclusive. 18 is a perspective view of a part of the basket shown in FIG. In showing and describing the preferred embodiments. [0127]FIG. 19B is an enlarged view of a solids diverter apparatus of the basket shown in FIG. 16 with screen assemblies therein. 3. [0125]FIG. 21 is a side view of the shale shaker shown in FIG. 16. Accordingly. 16A. 20 is an end view in section of a shale shaker comprising the basket shown in FIG. 20 arranged over a sump. [0123]FIG. the subject or topic of each such reference is not automatically or necessarily part of. the terms "invention". the intention is to cover all modifications. 17 is a perspective view of a part of the basket shown in FIG. [0126]FIG.

screens 8a. 8h).g. 8d which are at four different levels of the shale shakers 8 and is directed into the mud pit 6 (or the two lowermost screens are at the same level each receiving a portion of flow from the screen 8b). e. 1 illustrates a system S according to the present invention which includes a derrick 1 that extends vertically over a wellbore 2. fluid is pumped into the tubular work string 3 by the mud pump 7 through the flow line 4a. but not limited to. A4. the spent drill cuttings mixture leaving the well is directed to a separation device. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION [0132]FIG. The recovered lost circulation material (and/or material of similar size) flows and/or is pumped to a mud pit. 8b. added material (e. etc. a reservoir. and other debris encountered in the wellbore 2. lost circulation material (and/or material of similar size). A2. or to a further processing apparatus 8k. A flow line 4b is connected to annular space 5 formed between the outer surface of tubular work string 3 and the inner surface of wellbore 2. A4. debris. A3. according to the present invention. A tubular work string 3 extends into the wellbore 2. The combined mixture of drilling fluid. 8g.g. or more screens in series may separate selected material (e. 8f.g.g. a shale shaker H according to the present invention has screens A1. 1A. up an annulus 5 of the wellbore 2. each of which is. lost circulation material) that flows and/or is pumped to a reservoir or to the further processing apparatus 8k. at one of four different levels (with screen or screening cloth or mesh as desired). the shale shakers 8 are like any other shale shaker disclosed herein according to the present invention. Liquid drilling fluid passes through screens at the same or at different levels of the shaker. Drill cuttings and other solids pass over the screens 8a-8d of the shale shakers 8 and are discharged (arrows 8e. [0133]Spent (or used) fluid mud exiting the wellbore annulus 5 through the flow line 4b includes drilling fluid. and extends from the earth's surface to a desired depth within the wellbore. lost circulation material (with some material of similar size. if present) is separated by and discharged from the top of the screen 8b (see arrow 8f). Drilling fluid (or "mud") for the system in a mud pit 6 is circulated through the overall mud system via a mud pump 7. but not limited to. out from a drill bit 9). The screens are mounted on vibratable screen mounting apparatus or "basket" B. [0134]Referring now to FIG. drill cuttings. and drilled cuttings are directed to the shale shakers 8. During typical drilling operations.. One. So long as they are not mutually exclusive or contradictory any aspect or feature or combination of aspects or features of any embodiment disclosed herein may be used in any other embodiment disclosed herein. solids and/or lost circulation material. Accordingly. A flow line 4a is connected to the tubular work string 3.).. The screens A1.merely because of such reference. A3. A2. 8c. with the screen A2 (or the screens A2 and A3) used to separate lost circulation material (and/or . according to the present invention. such as one or more shale shakers 8 according to the present invention. two. With the proper selection of screen mesh for the screen 8b. and out of the annulus 5 via the flow line 4b. may be any suitable known screen or screens. circulated out a bottom end 3a of the tubular work string 3 (e. Optionally.

system or apparatus 20 for storage and/or further processing. The exit feeds from the top sides of the screens A1. As shown. in one particular aspect the mesh size is chosen so that lost circulation material of a largest dimension of 1/16'' or greater does not pass through the screen 22 and flows from the top thereof. among other things. e. in one particular aspect removes relatively large pieces of material. desirable additives. and A4 flows into a receptacle R beneath the bottom screen A4. and 24 exit from the tops of their respective screens and flow down to a container. two as shown are on the opposite side) which are supported from a frame D. A vibrator apparatus 18 vibrates the basket 16 and screens mounted in it. In certain aspects screen A1 has the coarsest mesh of all the screens and acts as a scalping screen and the screens A3 and A4 provide fine screening. the screen 21 has a mesh size such that pieces greater than 1/16'' are removed (and pieces of. Optionally. with mesh sized so that pieces 1/8'' and 1/64'' are used. including. Four spaced-apart screens 21-24 are mounted in the basket 16 at different levels (e.e. the screens A3.g. the screens A3. 23. A3. [0138]The exit streams from screens 21. The basket B is mounted on springs C (only two shown. In one particular embodiment the screen 21 is a scalping screen which. the screens 23 and 24 act as typical standard fine screening screens used to process a mixture of drilling fluid and solids. in one aspect. A4 may go to disposal or may be directed as described below for any embodiment of the present invention. [0135]FIGS. processed and treated as described for any embodiment of the present invention.g. drilled cuttings. The basket B is vibrated by a motor and interconnected vibrating apparatus E which is mounted on the basket B for vibrating the basket and the screens. The exit . Elevator apparatus F provides for raising and lowering of the basket end. A2. A4 operate in series. spaced-apart six to eight inches) or put another way. debris. but not limited to solids. [0137]The screens 23 and 24 further filter out solids from the flow through the screen 22 and. at four different heights in the basket. and/or lost circulation material. In one aspect the mesh size is chosen in cooperation with the mesh size of the screen 21 so that the screen 22 removes lost circulation material (and solids or pieces of similar size) and. but not limited to graphite ball lost circulation material that are 1/16'' in largest dimension or slightly smaller). The lost circulation material recovered from the top of the screen A2 (or. from the tops of the screens A2 and A3) may be flowed.. 2A and 2B show a system according to the present invention which includes a shale shaker 12 with a base 14 and a screen-supporting basket 16. solids and/or lost circulation material that are 1/16'' or smaller in largest dimension pass through the screen 21 (e. i. A4 may be operated in parallel with each receiving a portion of screen A2's underflow. Drilling fluid flowing through the screens flows down to a sump or container 26 and from there to a reservoir or. [0136]The screen 22 has a mesh size as chosen for removing material of a certain largest dimension or larger. Fluid passing through the screens A1. In one aspect such lost circulation material is graphite balls.g..material of similar size). In one aspect. back to an active rig mud system. A3. optionally. the underflow from the screen A3 flows down to the screen A4. in certain aspects.

in one aspect. [0143]FIGS. An auger system 70 receives material from the top of a screen 22a (like the screen 22) and augers the material into a conduit 70a from which it flows to storage or further processing apparatus 70b or is 10 flushed to a mud . 3A and 3B show a shaker system 10b like the system 10. 75%. if present) that flows through the screen 21 is directed to the screen 22 by a flow-back barrier (or plate) 31. part of the flow from the screen 22 flows into the flow channel 50 bypassing the screen 23 and flowing to the screen 24 (thus. by volume. Fluid flowing through the screen 24 flows into the sump 26. screen mesh size is chosen so that a relatively large percentage of the flow off the top of the screen is lost circulation material. Any one. FIG. optionally. be eliminated. 2A (and like numerals 25 indicate like parts). two. In certain aspects. or collector 19. Fluid flowing through the screen 22 flows to a channel 50a and then down to the screen 24 as does fluid flowing through the screen 23. [0141]The screens 21-24 are at typical screen tilt angles. FIG.stream from the screen 22. a flow channel 32a. The flow-back barriers extend under substantially all of the surface of the particular screens under which they are located. the output is 50% lost circulation material and 50% solids of similar size). at about 7 degrees or about 8 degrees. are used in the shale shaker 10a to remove LCM material (and/or material of similar size). 2A (like numerals 5 indicate like parts). over a weir 22w. if present) that exits from the top of the screen 22 is transferred to a reclamation system 40 (which. or up to 90%. the screens 23.g. pit. 2A) and from which the material flows down to a cuttings ditch.g. up to 50%. [0142]A shale shaker 10a shown in FIG. between 6 degrees to 12 degrees from the horizontal and in certain aspects. to the screen 23. the screen 21 includes an end weir 21w and fluid and material on top of the screen 21 in a pool 21p that exceeds the height of the weir 21w bypasses the screen 21 and flows to the screen 22 via a channel 17. e. The material (including lost circulation material of a certain size. Two screens. and a weir 32b. in particular aspects. is. 23 act in parallel with flow from the upper screen 21 flowing both to the screen 22 and. the screens 22 and 23. has or includes an auger apparatus 42 for moving solids to and/or from the reclamation apparatus) or flushed to a mud pit. or three of the flow-back barriers can. When the level of fluid (with material therein) exceeds the height of the weir 32b. the flow-back barrier 31 is eliminated. [0140]Fluid with solids that flows through the screen 22 is directed to the screens 23 and 24 by a flow-back barrier or plate 32. [0139]Fluid with some solids therein (including the lost circulation material of a certain size. The shaker 10b has a collection chute 60 which receives material from top of a screen 21a (like the screen 21. and in one particular aspect at least 75% lost circulation material by volume (in one example. e. FIG. Fluid with solids that flows through the screen 23 is directed to the sump 26 through a channel 51 by a flow-back barrier 33 and a channel 33a. The two screens 22. 24 in this manner operate in parallel). Optionally. has wet lost circulation material (or wet lost circulation material along with solids of similar size) of at least 50% by volume. 2C is like the system 10. Optionally.

according to the present invention. 103. A weir 118 prevents any overflow from the top of the screens 102a from flowing down to the deck 103. 101b. pit tank. or screen . screen A1. but not limited to. 109. in one aspect. e. 129 and 139 flow to typical collection sump.g. Fluid flowing through the screens flows to a sump 26a (like the sump 26). the screen 22a is used to recover LCM (and/or material of similar size). or optionally. In one particular aspect of the system 100. screen 21 or screen 21a). or receptacle. Oversized material 139 flows off tops of end screens 104a. considering the totality (100%) of the lost circulation material in a drilling fluid mixture fed to a top scalping screen of a system according to the present invention. In one aspect. sump or receptacle. [0146]Drilling fluid with some solids flowing through screens 103a (size shown. and/or magnetic separation apparatus.) 19. lost circulation material. any number may be used) flows down to chutes 136 and then to the tank. A feed 105 of a drilling fluid mixture is fed onto a first deck 101 with a plurality of screens 101a. In one aspect. 4A and 4B illustrate a quad-tier system 100 according to the present invention which has screen decks 101. both screens 22a and 23a are used to recover LCM (and/or material of similar size). 119. Drilling fluid flowing through screens 104a (four shown. a sprinkle-wash system for solids recovery. Overflow 107 from the deck 101 flows over a weir 108 (of a pre-determined height) down to the deck 102. including both LCM and other material is recovered. 102. screen A2. about 97% of this lost circulation material flows to the second screen and about 95% (95% of the original totality of the material) is recovered from the top of the second screen.pit. [0145]FIGS. Drilling fluid with some solids flowing through screens 102a (four shown. This material from the tops of these screens is. the deck 101 is a coarse screening deck (e. flow to the cuttings ditch (etc. The flows from the tops of screens 23a (like screen 23) and 24a (like screen 24). Overflow from the top of the screens 103a flows to a channel apparatus 128 and from there to a channel apparatus 138 which directs this flow to the top of the deck 104. 2C. may be any number) of the deck 103 flows to a diverter 126 and from there to a collection structure. sump. including. screen 22. may be any suitable number of screens) flows to chutes 116 and from there to the deck 103. [0147]The oversized material flows. Oversized material 129 flows off the tops of end screens 103a. a combination of similar sized material. Optionally. 21 or 21a) can. 101c (may be any suitable number of screens). but not limited to. Oversized material 109 flows off the top of the screen 101c. and 104.g. centrifuge(s). a tank.g. from the top of the screen 8b. Drilling fluid (with some solids) flowing through the screens 101a-101c flows to a chute 106 and from there down to the deck 102. hydrocyclone(s). or receptacle or storage apparatus and/or to subsequent processing apparatus. like the screen 8b. be sent to additional treatment apparatus for further processing. as in FIG. Oversize material 119 flows off the tops of screens 102a. [0144]Material recovered from the top of a second screen in systems according to the present invention (e. the deck 102 is a medium mesh screening deck (e.g. but not limited to the screen 8a.

in some ways. 128d. The channel apparatus 138 has flow passages 138a. 204b. the system including a vibratable basket. FIG. Underflow from the deck 102 flows to the chutes 116 and is diverted to the deck 104 by a diverter 202 (with handles 203) and via a channel apparatus 206 and a channel apparatus 208 to the deck 104. 5A'. therefore. screen 24 or screen 24a). The channel apparatus 206 has flow passages 206a. 4A underflow from the deck 102 flows to both the deck 103 and the deck 104. 138b. screen A3. 4A. screen A4.g. 128b. the second screen deck having screen mesh of a second size to remove from a top of the second screen solids from the mixture passing to the second screen deck from the first screen deck which have a largest dimension equal to or larger than the second size so that material with a largest dimension smaller than the second . [0150]The various chutes. diverters. In the system 200. like the screen 8d. Overflow from the deck 102 flows via the channel apparatus 128a and channel apparatus 204 to the deck 103. 126b.g. 206b. The channel apparatus 208 has flow passages 208a. the screens mounted in the vibratable basket and vibratable therewith. Underflow having passed through the deck 103 and chutes 116a (like the chutes 116) is diverted by a diverter 202a (like the diverter 202) to the deck 104. and channel apparatuses in the systems 100 and 200 are interchangeable. In the system of FIG. and the deck 104 is a fine screening deck (e. like the screen 8c. plastic. the chutes. the deck 103 is a medium or fine screening deck (e. The channel apparatus 204 has 10 flow passage 204a. In one 20 aspect the diverter 202 is connected to the channel apparatus 204 (indicated by the wavy lines on both).22a). a plurality of spaced-apart screens including a first screen deck. storage. FIG. Underflow having passed through the deck 104. so that series or parallel flow to and from one or more selected decks is facilitated. a sump at a bottom of the basket. but not limited to. a second screen deck positioned below the first screen.. The present invention. provides in at least certain embodiments. 208b. a third screen deck positioned below the second screen deck. and 5B illustrate a system 200 according to the present invention which is. the channel apparatus 128 has three flow passages 128a. or composite material. tank. a system for processing a mixture of drilling fluid and solid material to separate at least one component of the mixture by size from the mixture. but not limited to. 5A''. In certain aspects. FIG. 138c. the channel apparatus 128a has flow channels 128c. [0148]FIGS. or receptacle. [0149]Drilling fluid with some solids (underflow from the deck 101) flows from the deck 101 down to the deck 102. 5A. [0151]In the system 100. In the system 200 flow from the deck 101 flows to both the deck 102 and the deck 103. flows to the chutes 136 and then to collection. diverters and channel apparatuses are made of metal. screen 23 or screen 23a). and a fourth screen deck positioned below the third screen. in one aspect. 128c. The diverter 126 has two flow passages 126a. like the system 100. with underflow from both of these decks flowing to the deck 104. 4A.. the first screen deck having screen mesh of a first size to remove from a top of the first screen deck solids from the mixture with a largest dimension equal to and larger than a first dimension so that material with a largest dimension smaller than the first dimension is passable down through the first screen deck.

the method including: feeding the mixture to a vibratable basket of a system. wherein the first screen deck is a scalping deck. the second screen deck and one of the third screen deck and fourth screen deck flowing down into the sump. and a fourth screen deck positioned below the third screen. therefore. Such a system may have one or some. the second deck is able to remove a second amount of lost circulation material. selectively. the system including: a vibratable basket. provides in at least certain embodiments. the second amount at least 75% of the first amount. a second screen deck positioned below the first screen. the third screen deck having screen mesh of a third size. the drilling fluid mixture introduced to the system to be treated by the system includes a first amount of lost circulation material. a method for treating a mixture of drilling fluid and solid material to separate at least one component of the mixture by size from the mixture. a plurality of spaced-apart screens including a first screen deck. and the fourth screen deck having screen mesh of a fourth size for removing solids from the secondary flow on the top of the third screen deck and from the top of the fourth screen deck. the second screen deck having screen mesh of a second size to remove from a top of the second screen solids from the mixture passing to the second screen deck from the first screen deck which have a largest dimension equal to or larger than the second size so that material with a largest dimension smaller than the second size is passable down through the second screen deck. a sump at a bottom of the basket. selectively. material and fluid passing through the second screen deck comprising a secondary flow. in any possible combination. diversion apparatus connected to the basket positioned for providing at least a portion of the secondary flow to the third screen deck and. and reclamation apparatus for receiving the lost circulation material. The present invention. and the fourth screen deck having screen mesh of a fourth size for removing solids from the secondary flow on the top of the third screen deck and from the top of the fourth screen deck.size is passable down through the second screen deck. and drilling fluid flowing through the first screen deck. said solids including pieces of lost circulation material and pieces of material other than lost circulation material. the screens mounted in the vibratable basket and vibratable therewith. a system for processing a mixture of drilling fluid and solid material to separate at least one component of the mixture by size from the mixture. a portion of the secondary flow to the fourth screen deck. drilling fluid flowing through the first screen deck. the first screen deck having screen mesh of a first size to remove from a top of the first screen solids from the mixture with a largest dimension equal to and larger than a first dimension so that material with a largest dimension smaller than the first dimension is passable down through the first screen deck. wherein the screen mesh of a second size is suitable for removing solids the size of lost circulation material. a third screen deck positioned below the second screen deck. the system as any described herein according to the present . diversion apparatus connected to the basket positioned for providing at least a portion of the secondary flow to the third screen deck and. a portion of the secondary flow to the fourth screen deck. therefore. of the features and aspects described above for any system according to the present invention. provides in at least certain embodiments. material and fluid passing through the second screen deck comprising a secondary flow. the third screen deck having screen mesh of a third size. [0152]The present invention. the second screen deck and one of the third screen deck and fourth screen deck flowing down into the sump.

[0158]Fluid flowing through the screen 318c flows down a flow-back barrier 317c into the sump 316. the diverter 320 has a solid chute portion 320a for facilitating fluid flow and two handles 320b projecting from the chute portion 320a. As this fluid builds up into a pool 315a on the screen 318b. through an opening 328. 7A and 7B show a shale shaker 340. [0155]As shown in FIG. a second screen deck and one of a third screen deck and a fourth screen deck of the system down into a sump. with a . 6E.invention.. and down to the sump 316 via a channel 316a. Solids (wet to some degree) flow off the ends of the screens as indicated by the arrows W. pneumoseal apparatuses. [0156]The diverter 320 can be manipulated and moved through an open end access area 329 (FIG. As shown in FIGS. as in FIG. and the method further including flowing drilling fluid through a first screen deck. 326. Fluid that flows through the screen 318b flows down a flow-back barrier 317b. This fluid flows past the opening 322 into the channel 316a. The diverter 320 is mounted between rails 321 of the holding structure 320a (see. according to the present invention. 318c which are mounted to the basket 312 at different levels. and one of a second screen deck and a third screen deck flowing down into a sump. The opening 328 is defined by the weir 313 and an end of the flow-back barrier 317a. and then onto the screen 318b. 6F) of the basket 312.g. the diverter 320 prevents fluid that has exited from the bottom of the screen 318b from flowing onto the screen 318c. FIG. without limitation. FIGS. see FIG. 6C). 6G) and clamping apparatuses 320p. e. [0159]FIGS. 320s are used to hold the diverter 320 in place. 6A. blocks an opening 322 of a channel 324 formed by spaced-apart members 325. [0154]Fluid then flows over the top 313a of the weir 313 through a channel 311 to the lower screen 318c. [0153]FIGS. Clamping apparatuses 310p hold the screens in place. it rises to a level equal to and then greater than a top 313a of a weir 313. Any suitable clamping apparatus may be used including. The diverter 320 is selectively movable in holding structure 320a and. Fluid from the screen 318a flows down to a flow-back barrier 317a. 6C and 6D. As shown in FIG. 6B. 318b. over an end of a diverter 320. 6A and 6B illustrate a parallel fluid flow path.g. the diverter 320 has been moved so that fluid is flowable down onto the screen 318c which has exited through the bottom of the screen 318b. 6A-6D show a shale shaker 310 according to the present invention which has a basket 312 vibrated by vibratory apparatus 314 and a lower sump 316 which receives fluid (or fluid and some solids) that passes through three screens 318a. [0157]The angle from the horizontal of the screen 318b coupled with the height of the weir 313 determines the depth of the pool 315a and of a lower edge 318e of a beach area 318f on the screen 318b (e. or flowing drilling fluid through a first screen deck. This is an "in series" flow path--from the screen 3318a to the screen 318b to the screen 318c--for fluid down to the sump 316.

Fluid flowing through the screen 377 flows into a flow channel 393 of a channel apparatus 391 (see FIG. for parallel flow. with the opening 354 blocked. 377. Fluid flowing down in the channel 349 flows to the lowermost screen 348. 7A is parallel-fluid flowing through the screen 347 does not flow to the screen 348. fluid flowing through the screen 347 flows onto the screen 348 and thus the flow mode. [0164]The screen 377 has an insert 390 at an end 377a which is in the position shown in FIG. into the channel 359. . 347. flows to the lowermost screen 378. 378 are mounted in the basket with a flow-back barrier 375 beneath the screen 376 and flow-back barrier 373 beneath the screen 377. As shown in FIG. blocks an opening 354 so that fluid flowing in the channel 349 cannot flow into a channel 359. [0161]As shown in FIG. 7D the flow barrier 357 has a body 358 with a flow channel 359 there-through and a latch 361. A weir 341 with a top end 341a defines (with an end 342a of the basket 342) a flow channel 349 for fluid flowing over the top 341a of the weir 341 from a pool 351 of fluid on the screen 347. and an end latch 357 for connection to the screen 347. Screens 376. 7B. Thus the flow mode for the screens 347 and 348 as shown in FIG.basket 342 vibrated by vibratory apparatus 344. 7C) connected there-below with an end 353 which. 348 are mounted in the basket with a flow-back barrier 345 beneath the screen 346 and flow-back barrier 343 beneath the screen 347. [0160]As shown in FIG. [0162]FIGS. [0165]Fluid from the pool 381 flowing over the top 371a of the weir 371 flows in the channel 379 down to the screen 378. Fluid flowing through the screen 378 flows into the sump 386. as shown in FIG. 7B. Also. FIG. The screen 347 has flow barrier 352 (see FIG. With the channel 359 closed by the flow barrier 357 and with the end 353 removed from the opening 354. 8A. 389s facilitates the clamping in place of the screens and the maintenance of the screen in a desired position. the flow barrier 352 has a body 354 with a flow channel 355 there-through. 7C. Pneumoseal apparatus 389p. Fluid flowing through the screen 378 flows along a flow-back barrier 391 into a sump 386. is in series for the screens 347. 8A) in the channel 379. Fluid flowing through the screen 348 flows into a sump 356. 7D illustrates the flow path for series flow. and then into the sump 356. 348. Screens 346. 8A and 8B show a shale shaker 370 according to the present invention with a basket 372 vibrated by vibratory apparatus 374. 8D) and then into the sump 386. a solid portion 356. fluid flowing down through the screen 347 flows along the flow-back barrier 343 to the opening 354. [0163]A weir 371 with a top end 371a defines (with an end 372a of the basket 372) a flow channel 379 for fluid flowing over the top 371a of the weir 371 from a pool 381 of fluid on the screen 377. 7A. in the position shown in FIG. the screen 347 does not have the flow below it and the channel 359 is closed to fluid flow by a flow barrier 357. Fluid flowing down (FIG.

9C and 9D show the shaker 400 in a series flow mode. 400s hold screens in place (with no flow through the passageway 418). Flow is via the flow channels 417a. 10A and in series flow mode in FIG. Fluid flowing through the screen 431 flows to both the screen 432 and to the screen 433 from a pool 429 on the screen 432. [0166]As shown in FIG. 417b of the insert 417 and then down. Fluid flowing through the screen 233 flows down to the sump 446. 8E. over a weir 444. and 413 are mounted in the basket 402. Via the opening 435a. in parallel flow mode in FIG. 10G) block flow through an opening 449a so that all fluid flowing from the screen 431 flows to the screen 432. a flow-back barrier 414 is below the screen 412. A flow-back barrier 457 is beneath a screen 461 and a flow-back barrier 488 is . 378 is in a 10 parallel flow mode. 9A-9D show a shaker 400 with a sump 416p and basket 402 vibrated by vibratory apparatus 404. 10E) and then to a sump 446. [0168]FIGS. an insert 448 (see FIG. [0169]FIGS. Pneumoseal apparatuses 430p. [0170]As shown in FIG. 10F) blocks flow through the channel 427 and an insert 449 (see FIG. all fluid flowing from the screen 432 flows to the screen 433. and through an opening 439a in an insert 439 (see FIGS. Fluid flowing through the screen 412 flows to and through channels 417a. A flowback barrier 401 is below the screen 411.Thus the flow from the screen 376 to and through the screens 377. The flow-back barrier 435 has a channel 435a in an end 435b. An insert 392. Fluid flows through a passageway 418 in the insert 417 (see FIGS. and a flow-back barrier 415 is below the screen 413. Fluid flows down and out of the channel 409 to contact and flow through an insert 417 positioned at an end of the screen 412. and a flow-back barrier 436 is below a screen 433. FIG. A weir 405 having a top end 405a with an end portion 402a of the basket 402 defines a channel 409 through which flows fluid coming over the top end 405a of the weir 405 from a pool 406 of fluid on the screen 412. 10B. a flow-back barrier 435 is below a screen 432. 11A and 11B show a shale shaker 450 with a basket 452 vibrated by a vibratory apparatus 454. Thus fluid flows from the screen 411 to both the screens 412 and 413 in a parallel flow mode. Screens 411. the insert 390 and the channel apparatus 391 have been removed. 417b in the insert 417. through a channel 427. via the channel 419 onto the screen 413. Pneumoseal apparatuses 400p. A flow-back barrier 437 is below a screen 431. 10C. 412. blocks flow through an opening 397. 10A and 10B show a shale shaker 430. 430s hold screens in place. Then fluid flowing through the screen 377 flows down to the screen 378 through an opening 374. Fluid flowing through the screen 376 flows down to the screen 377. 8B. from there into the channel 419. The shale shaker 430 has a basket 435 vibrated by a vibratory apparatus 434. 10D) in a mount 439b. 10B. Fluid flowing through the screen 432 flows to a channel 441 of a channel apparatus 442 (see FIG. [0171]FIGS. and down to the sump 416. 9E-9F) to a channel 419 and down to the screen 413. [0167]FIGS.

Some overflow. 11A). fluid flowing through the screen 491 flows to both the screen 492 and from a pool 489 on the screen 492 over a top end 487a of a weir 487 via a flow channel 488 down to the screen 493. 12A and 12B show the shale shaker 480 with a basket 482. A flow-back barrier 485 is beneath the screen 493. 12C. Fluid flowing through the screen 492 flows to an opening 498a in an insert 498 and then down to the screen 493. fluid from the screen 492 flows through openings 498b to a channel 485 and to the sump 496. 12E. 13A and 13B show a shale shaker 500 in a parallel flow mode. Pneumoseal apparatuses 480p. An insert 474 (see FIG. [0176]FIGS. Optionally a cut-out portion 472a of the insert 472 provides a handle (see FIG. [0177]As shown in FIG. The shaker 500 has a basket 505 and screens 501-503 vibrated by a vibratory apparatus 504 Flow-back barriers 511-513 are. The insert 498 has an opening 498a for fluid flow and openings 498b for fluid flow. 12F) in a mount 497 has an opening 498a through which fluid from the channel 488 flows to the screen 493. so that series or parallel flow can be achieved. An insert 498 (see FIGS. 13A fluid from the screen 501 flows both to the screen 502 and to . onto the screen 463 (as shown in FIG. 11E). As shown in FIG. 12A. The insert 451 is mounted in a 10 mount 467 and the channel 453 is in fluid communication with a flow channel 471. in a parallel flow mode. An insert 530 in a mount 540 is used to change operational mode from series to parallel and vice-versa. Pneumoseal apparatuses 500p.e. 11B illustrates a series flow mode for the shaker 450. 12E. [0173]FIG. Fluid flowing through the screen 462 flows through a channel 453 in an insert 451 (see FIG. 12F) can block fluid flow through the 15 channel 485. Fluid flowing through a lowermost screen 493 flows into a sump 496. 12C and 12D show the shale shaker 480 in series flow mode. [0174]FIGS.beneath a screen 462. if any. In a parallel flow mode as illustrated in FIGS. permitting the fluid flowing through the screen 462 to flow into the channel 133. located under the screens 501-503. Fluid flowing through a screen 463 flows into a sump 456. through a channel 465. [0172]Fluid from a pool 459 on the screen 462 overflows a top end 464a of a weir 464. Thus. At the same time. Pneumoseal apparatuses 450p. i. respectively. An insert 472 blocks the opening to the channel 471 so that fluid flowing through the screen 462 flows down onto the screen 463 (not directly into the sump 456 through the channel 471). [0175]FIGS. The insert 498(see FIGS. 11D) and then into the sump 456 (not onto the screen 463). A flow-back barrier 481 is beneath a top screen 491 and a flow-back barrier 483 is beneath a middle screen 492. 480s hold screens in place. from the pond on the screen 462 could flow over the weir 464 down to the screen 463. the fluid flowing through and then down from the screen 461 flows both to the screen 462 and (over the weir 464) to the screen 463. 12B. 11C) at the end of the screen 462 holds the screen 462 in such a position that height of the pool 459 makes possible the flow of fluid over the weir 464. fluid has flowed through the screen 491 down to the screen 492. 500s hold screens in place. 450s hold screens in place. vibrated by vibratory apparatus 484.

a sump beneath the second screen assembly for receiving flow passing through the screen assemblies. drilling fluid flowable through the first screen assembly. 13C and 13D illustrate the shaker 500 in a series flow mode. The insert 530 also blocks fluid flow through the channel 551 so that all the fluid flowing from the screen 502 flows to the screen 503. to a channel 551 of a channel apparatus 550. without limitation those of FIGS.the screen 503 (from a pool 509 on the screen 502. 13E. the insert 530 (turned around) blocks fluid flow from the channel 515 so that the screen 502 receives the fluid flowing from the screen 501. and the diverter having a blocking portion. 6A-13E) may be used with any shaker or system according to the present invention disclosed herein. a weir adjacent the first screen assembly forming a barrier to facilitate maintenance of a pool of drilling fluid and solids on the first screen assembly. [0178]FIGS. the insert 530 has fluid flow channels 530c. therefore. the diverter having a diverter channel there-through through which fluid is flowable from the first screen assembly through the system flow channel down to the second screen assembly for series flow of the input flow from the first screen assembly to the second screen assembly. and drilling fluid flowable through the second screen assembly and flowable down therefrom. a plurality of spaced-apart screen assemblies including a first screen assembly and a second screen assembly positioned below the first screen assembly. in any possible combination. through a channel 505. 13C. the holding structure having spaced-apart rails and having an end opening. over a weir 534. a system for processing a mixture of drilling fluid and solid material to separate at least one component of the mixture by size from the mixture. holding structure above the second screen assembly. a parallel flow channel adjacent the screen assemblies for directing flow from the pool to the second screen assembly bypassing the first screen assembly during parallel flow of the system. As shown in FIG. the handle apparatus accessible for moving the diverter with respect to the system flow channel. any diverter. Such a system may one or some. a diverter held by the holding structure. and/or any insert according to the present invention (including. of the following: a system flow channel between the first screen assembly and the second screen assembly. any pair of screen assemblies. the system including: a vibratable basket for receiving an input flow of drilling fluid with solids therein. and to a sump 506). and clamping apparatus for holding the diverter in the holding . the conversion apparatus including holding structure above the second screen assembly. the screen assemblies mounted in the vibratable basket and vibratable therewith. flow-back apparatus beneath the first screen assembly for directing flow passing through the first screen assembly to the system flow channel. the diverter movable to block flow through the system channel so that the pool rises and drilling fluid with solids bypasses the first screen assembly and flows to the second screen assembly for parallel flow of the input flow to both screen assemblies. Any screen assembly. [0179]As shown in FIG. and the diverter located between the rails and having handle apparatus at the end opening. provides in at least certain embodiments. The present invention. Fluid from the screen 503 flows to the sump 506. through an opening 531 in the insert 530. conversion apparatus associated with the screen assemblies for selectively controlling the input flow to select one of series flow and parallel flow to the screen assemblies.

provides in at least certain embodiments. the system including a vibratable basket for receiving an input flow of drilling fluid with solids therein. a first flow channel through the body for effecting system parallel flow to the screen assemblies. the conversion apparatus including: a body. a duct blocker for blocking flow through the duct. therefore. the body having a blocking portion for blocking flow to the system flow channel to effect system parallel flow of the input flow to both screen assemblies. the screen assemblies mounted in the vibratable basket and vibratable therewith. drilling fluid flowable through the first screen assembly and the second screen assembly down therefrom. a plurality of spaced-apart screen assemblies including a first screen assembly and a second screen assembly positioned below the first screen assembly. and/or the conversion apparatus having a body. the conversion apparatus having a body. and the body having a flow duct for receiving flow from the first screen assembly which is flowable through the duct to the second screen assembly for system series flow to the screen assemblies. the conversion apparatus having a body. a second flow channel through the body for effecting system series flow to the screen assemblies. a conversion apparatus for a system for processing a mixture of drilling fluid and solid material to separate at least one component of the mixture from the mixture. a system for processing a mixture of drilling fluid and solid material to separate at least one component of the mixture by size from the mixture. drilling fluid flowable through the first screen assembly and drilling fluid flowable through the second screen assembly and down therefrom. a plurality of spaced-apart screen assemblies including a first screen assembly and a second screen assembly positioned below the first screen assembly.structure. conversion apparatus associated with the screen assemblies for selectively controlling the input flow to select one of series flow and parallel flow to the screen assemblies. a first flow channel through the body for effecting system parallel flow to the screen assemblies. flow-back apparatus beneath the first screen assembly for directing flow passing through the first screen assembly to the system flow channel. [0180]The present invention. provides in at least certain embodiments. therefore. the system including: a vibratable basket for receiving an input flow of drilling fluid with solids therein. wherein the second screen assembly includes a screen with second screen mesh of a size suitable for removing solids the size of lost circulation material. and a parallel flow channel adjacent the screen assemblies for directing flow from the pool to the second screen assembly bypassing the first screen assembly during parallel flow to the screen assemblies [0181]The present invention. the conversion apparatus associated with the screen assemblies for selectively controlling the input flow to select one of series flow and parallel flow. the screen assemblies mounted in the vibratable basket and vibratable therewith. a first flow . wherein the first screen assembly includes a scalping screen. a sump beneath the second screen assembly for receiving flow passing through the screen assemblies. a system flow channel between the first screen assembly and the second screen assembly through which fluid is flowable from the first screen assembly to the second screen assembly. and a second flow channel through the body for effecting system series flow to the screen assemblies. a system flow channel between the first screen assembly and the second screen assembly.

the sump receiving flow passing through the screen assemblies. in any possible combination. which induce a motion in the basket D1. Such a method may one or some. flowing drilling fluid with solids to the screen assemblies. A basket B1 is arranged on springs C1 on the base D1. [0183]FIG. and clamping apparatus for holding the diverter in the holding structure. of the following: wherein the conversion apparatus has a body. Z2. A vibratory apparatus E is arranged on top of the basket B1. 14 shows an apparatus for separating solids from a solids laden drilling mud.channel through the body for effecting system parallel flow to the screen assemblies. and screening the flow to each screening assembly. Z2. wherein the system further has flow-back apparatus beneath the first screen assembly for directing flow passing through the first screen assembly to the system flow channel. wherein the system further has a sump beneath the second screen assembly. the method further including selecting the first flow channel for system parallel flow or selecting the second flow channel for system series flow. Screened drilling mud passes through the screen assemblies into the collection receptacle (not shown) and solids climb along the screen assemblies Z1-Z4 to a discharge end P of the shale shaker and into a skip. and a second flow channel through the body for effecting system series flow to the screen assemblies. the method further including clamping the diverter with the clamping apparatus. upper middle. the method further including directing flow from the first screen assembly to the system flow channel. Z3. wherein the system further has holding structure above the second screen assembly. the shale shaker H1 comprises a base D1 having an open bottom R1 arranged above a collection receptacle (not shown) for receiving screen drilling mud. Z4 are arranged in the basket D1 and fixed thereto in rails (not shown) so that the motion induced in the basket is transferred to the screen assemblies Z1. [0182]The present invention. The motion induced in the screen assemblies Z1-Z4 facilitates separation of solids from drilling mud. . Z3. the system as any disclosed herein according to the present invention. and/or wherein the first screen assembly includes a scalping screen. An upper. ditch or other cuttings transfer apparatus (not shown). and a second flow channel through the body for effecting system series flow to the screen assemblies. Solids laden drilling fluid is fed on to the screen assemblies Z1Z4 from a feed chamber F1 at a feed end of the apparatus. the method further including: selecting one of a system series flow to screen assemblies of the system or a system parallel flow to the screen assemblies using a conversion apparatus. generally referred to as a shale shaker and identified herein by reference H1. a first flow channel through the body for effecting system parallel flow to the screen assemblies. and wherein the second screen assembly includes a screen with second screen mesh of a second size suitable for removing solids the size of lost circulation material. a method for treating a flow of drilling fluid with solids. Z4. therefore. lower middle and lower screen assemblies Z1. the method including: introducing the flow of drilling fluid with solids to a system for separating at least one component from the flow. provides in at least certain embodiments. The vibratory apparatus E comprises an electric or hydraulic motor M1 rotating offset clump weights hidden within casing S1.

a wedge may be used to secure the scalping screen 1015 in the Cshaped channels 1016. Screened drilling mud falls through the screen assemblies 1022a and 1022b in the upper screen deck on to a flow tray 1027 and over the closed gate valve 1026. The large solids may be caught in a ditch or on a conveying means and further processed or used in other operations. If the level of the solids laden drilling fluid rises beyond the height of the weir 1023. The screen assemblies 1022a. [0185]A gate valve 1026 in the form of a slideable tray. However. Vibratory apparatus 1016 fixed to the basket 1030 induces motion therein. which directs the screened drilling mud on to the feed end of the screen assemblies 1025a and 1025b in the lower screen deck 1013. solids laden drilling fluid passes thereover into a duct 1023 and on to screen assemblies 1025a and 1025b in the lower primary screen deck 1013. slightly downhill or at a slightly greater uphill angle. The scalping deck 1011 and the screen 1015 thereon is arranged at an uphill tilt of approximately one degree from horizontal. The solids laden drilling fluid which passes through the scalping screen 1015 falls on to a flow tray 1021 which directs the solids laden drilling fluid to the feed end 1014 of screen assemblies 1022a and 1022b in the upper primary deck 12. The basket 1030 comprising a scalping deck 1011. The upper primary deck 1012 has a left-hand side 12a and a right-hand side 1012b. 15A and 15B show a shale shaker 1010 having a base 1020 and a basket 1030 arranged thereon on springs (not shown). A weir 1023 is arranged at the feed end of the primary deck 1012 to retain the solids laden drilling fluid. Alternatively. An expandable pneumatic bladder 1017 is arranged in a top part of the C-shaped channels 1016 to clamp the scalping screen 1015 therein. is in a closed position to run the shale shaker in a parallel mode. but allowing some solids and drilling mud therethrough. The scalping screen 1015 comprises a screen 1018 having relatively large openings for inhibiting large particles from passing though on to the primary decks. an upper primary deck 1012 and a lower primary deck 1013.[0184]FIGS. The lower primary deck has a left-hand side 1013a and a right-hand side 1013b. duct 1028 leads to the bottom of the basket and directly into the collection receptacle (not shown) therebelow. Solids laden drilling fluid is introduced to a feed end of the shale shaker 1014 from a feeder (not shown) on to a scalping screen 1015 arranged in C-shaped channels 1016 of the scalping deck 1011. Solids fall off the discharge end 1031 of upper screen deck 1012 and discharge end 1032 of the lower screen deck 1013 and into a skip or other conveying apparatus for conveying the solids for further processing or re-use. Drilling mud screened by the screen assemblies 1022a and 1022b in the upper screen deck 1012 flows in the flow tray 1027 and into a duct 1029. In this situation. The gate valve 1026 may be refracted to allow drilling mud screened by the screen assemblies 1022a and 1022b in the upper screen deck 1012 to be further screened by screen assemblies 1025a and 1025b on the lower screen deck 1013. And into a duct 1028 which runs parallel to the duct 1024. The motion facilitates separation of large solids from the solids laden drilling mud and induces movement in the large solids along the scalping screen 1015 from the feed end 1014 to the discharge end 1019 of the shale shaker. The shale shaker thus runs in a series mode. Sized solids fall off the discharge end 1031 of upper screen . although the scalping screen 1015 and scalping deck 1011 may be arranged horizontally. it is preferable to use a finer screen mesh in the screen assemblies 1025a and 1025b than the screen mesh used in screen assemblies 1022a and 1022b. 1022b and 1025a and 1025b are preferably of the same type and have the same screen mesh thereon.

The basket 11100 comprising a scalping deck 1111. discharging solids laden drilling fluid on to a feed end of screens 1122a of the upper primary deck 1112. [0186]Referring to FIGS. Alternatively. a wedge may be used to secure the scalping screen 1115 in the C-shaped channels 1116. 1102c. 3A. but allowing some solids and drilling mud therethrough. 1103b. through eight duct openings 1102a. The scalping deck 1111 and the scalping screen 1115 thereon is arranged at an uphill tilt of approximately one degree from horizontal. 1102b. 4 and 5. The lower primary deck 1113 has a left-hand side 1113a and a right-hand side 1113b. 3. 1102d and 1103a. The solids laden drilling fluid which passes through the scalping screen 1115 falls on to a flow tray 1121 which directs the solids laden drilling fluid over a closed distribution gate valve in the form of a slideable tray distribution gate tray 1101. 1103c and 1103d each having a lower lip substantially flush with or slightly below the distribution gate tray 1101. 4 and 5 there is shown a basket 1100 of a shale shaker. with the openings 1102a. 1102d and 1103a. 1102b. The motion facilitates separation of large solids from the solids laden drilling mud and induces movement in the large solids along the scalping screen 1015 from the feed end 1114 to the discharge end 10119 of the shale shaker. Vibratory apparatus 1116 fixed to the basket 1100 induces motion therein. 1103c and 1103d may be arranged vertically in the manifold 1104. Solids discharges from the discharge end 1032 of the lower screen deck 1013 are conveyed in a separate conveyor or added to a skip for further processing or used for other purposes. Ducts 1107c and 1107d lead to respective discharge outlets 1109c and 1109d. 1102d and 1103a. Preferably. The scalping screen 1115 comprises at least one layer of screen material 1118. ditch or on a conveying means (not shown) and further processed or used in other operations. Approximately an eighth of the flow solids laden drilling fluid passes into each opening 1102a to 1102d and 1103a to 1103d. 1102b. 1103b.deck 1012 into a conveyor (not shown) to be conveyed and mixed into a fresh batch of drilling mud for re-circulation. The openings 1102a. slightly downhill or at a slightly greater uphill angle. 1102c. Solids laden drilling fluid is introduced to a feed end of the shale shaker 1114 from a feeder (not shown) on to a scalping screen 1115 arranged in C-shaped channels 1116 of the scalping deck 1111. The upper primary deck 1112 has a left-hand side 1112a and a right-hand side 1112b. although the scalping screen 1115 and scalping deck 1111 may be arranged horizontally. 1103b. 1103c and 1103d of a manifold 1104 arranged between side walls 105 and 106 of the basket 1100. The solids laden drilling fluid flows in approximately equal quantities through duct openings 1102a to 1102d into ducts 1107a to 1107d and through openings 1103a to 1103d into ducts 1108a to 1108d. such as wire mesh having relatively large openings for inhibiting large particles from passing though on to the upper and lower primary decks 1112 and 1113. 1103b. discharging solids laden drilling fluid on to a feed end of screens 122b of the upper . Ducts 1107a and 1107b lead to respective discharge outlets 1109a and 1109b. The large solids may be caught in a skip. 1102c. 1102d and 1103a. and as shown in FIGS. 3C. 1102c. the eight duct openings 1102a. 1103c and 1103d are located flush with or slightly below the flow tray 1121 and distribution gate tray 101. an upper primary deck 1112 and a lower primary deck 1113. 1102b. An expandable pneumatic bladder 1117 is arranged in a top part of the C-shaped channels 1116 to clamp the scalping screen 1115 therein. These sized solids are used to block cracks in the formation as hereinbefore described.

Ducts 1108a and 1108b merge into duct 1110a and ducts 1108c and 1108d merge into duct 1110c. Screened drilling fluid passes through opening 1124a and 1124b into fluid discharge duct 1124d and is directed into a sump 1157 (see FIG. [0191]In this "series" mode. 8) arranged below the basket 1100. Distribution gate tray 1101 and selector gate trays 126a and 126b are retracted. The distribution gate tray 1101 is retracted along the rail 1132 by activation of an actuator (not shown). which may be pneumatic. electric or mechanical and may be activated by a switch (not shown) on the shale shaker or by remote control from a control room. 1122b and 1125a and 1125b are preferably of the same type and have the same screen mesh thereon. The selector gate trays 1126a and 1126b are retracted simultaneously along the sets of rails 1133a and 1133b by activation of an actuator (not shown). Selector gate trays 1126a and 1126b are arranged in respective sets of rails 1133a and 1133b. which may be pneumatic. 1124b and 1124c. [0187]Drilling mud screened by screens 1122a and 1122b falls through the screens 1122a and 1122b on to a flow tray 1127 and flows down along over selector gate trays 1126a and 1126b respectively and into fluid discharge openings 1124a. a "series" mode of operation is shown. . in this parallel ode. the screen assemblies 1122a. hydraulic.primary deck 1112. both upper and lower screen decks are used to screen the same solids laden drilling fluid. The distribution gate tray 1101 is arranged in a rail 1132. skip or other solids collection or conveying apparatus. Screened drilling fluid flowing through the screens 1122a and 1122b flows on to the flow tray 1127 and through an opening 136 revealed by the refracted selector gate trays 1126a and 1126b over a lower diverter tray 1137 on to a feed end of the screens 1125a and 1125b on the lower screen deck 1113. screened drilling fluid also passes through opening 1124c and into fluid discharge duct 1124e which also directs screened drilling fluid into the sump 1157 (see FIG. Solids laden drilling fluid flows through the opening 1134 over an upper diverter tray 135 and on to a feed end of the screens 1122a and 1122b on the upper screen deck 1112. 3B. Thus. [0190]Referring to FIG. the distribution gate tray 1101 and selector gate trays 1126a and 1126b are retracted revealing an opening 1134. electric or mechanical and may be activated by a switch (not shown) on the shale shaker or by remote control from a control room. Solids laden drilling fluid screen by screens 1125a and 1125b falls through the screens 1125a and 1125b on to a flow tray 1128 which discharges the screened drilling fluid through opening 1129 into the sump (not shown) or collection receptacle (not shown) [0188]Solids screened by the screens 1122a and 1122b and screens 1125a and 1125b are discharged over solids discharge end 1130 and 1131 respectively and into a ditch. hydraulic. discharging solids laden drilling fluid through discharge opening 1110d on to feed ends of screens 1125a and 1125b respectively of the lower primary deck 1113. [0189]In this "parallel" mode of operation. 8). which has simply had large solids removed by the scalping screen 1115.

The jetting nozzles are connected to drilling mud supply hoses (not shown) and a pump (not shown). The series diverter plates 1152 and 1152a are fitted at the discharge end of the basket 100 to direct solids from screens 1122a and 1122b into troughs 1151 and 1151a. He basket 1100 is isolated from the base 1158 on four springs 1159 and 1159a (only two shown). ditch or other solids conveying apparatus to be disposed of or further processed form construction or industrial use. It is realized that changes are possible within the scope of this invention and it is further intended that each element or . The solids fall from screens 1122a and 1122b on to respective parallel diverter plates 1150 (only side 112a shown) fitted over a trough 1151 and trough 1151a. Flexible duct connectors 1155 and 1155a lead from openings 1154 and 1154a respectively to sump channels 1156 and 1156a in a base 1158. Thus in series mode. [0194]FIG. 6B shows the diverter plate 1150 removed and replaced with series diverter plates 1152 and 1152a installed at the end of the basket 1100. it is seen that the present invention and the embodiments disclosed herein and those covered by the appended claims are well adapted to carry out the objectives and obtain the ends set forth.[0192]In this "series" mode of operation. The sump channels 1156 and 1156a led into sump 1157 beneath the basket 1100. 6A shows in cross-section the solids discharge end of the basket 1100. which have a floor 1153. the screens 1125a and 1125b will be of finer mesh size than the screens 1122a and 1122b. therefore. [0195]FIG. [0193]The solids removed by the screens 1122a and 1122b are thus sized solids. The solids flow through the trough 1151 and 1151a. amongst other things. The flow of solids through the troughs 1151 and 1151a is facilitated by fully screened drilling fluid jetted through jetting nozzles 1160 and 1160a respectively. which can be reused in the screened drilling mud. [0196]In conclusion. The generally smaller solids discharging from discharge end 1131 of the lower screen deck 1113 fall into the skip. the screens 1122a and 1122b on the upper screen deck 1112 are used for the first "cut" to remove larger solids and the screens 1125a and 1125b on the lower screen deck 1113 are used to make a finer cut. taken through side 1112a. Certain changes can be made in the subject matter without departing from the spirit and the scope of this invention. The sized solids are useful for. The parallel diverter plate 1150 is fitted over the trough 1151 preferably when the shale shaker is in the parallel mode of operation. The parallel diverter plate 1150 is angled at approximately twenty five degrees from horizontal to facilitate directing the solids out of the basket and into a skip. Thus the solids sized between the scalping deck and the upper primary screen are returned into the screened drilling mud in the sump 1157 to be recirculated in a wellbore. Solids are conveyed uphill along the top surface of the screens 1122a and 1122b by the vibratory motion induced in the screens 1122a and 1122b by the vibratory apparatus 1116. as Wellbore Strengthening Materials to lodge or block cracks in the walls of the wellbore as the drilling mud is circulated. ditch or means for conveying the solids. 1153a which slope towards respective openings 1154 and 1154a in sides 1105 and 1106. Jetting nozzles 1162 are also provided in the sump channels 1156 after the flexible duct coupling 11156 to facilitate flow of solids into the sump 1157.

[0197]It is the express intention of the applicant not to invoke 35 U. [0198]Whereas the present invention has been described in particular relation to the drawings attached hereto.S. except for those in which the claim expressly uses the words `means for` together with an associated function. may be made within the scope and spirit of the present invention. . §112. it should be understood that other and further modifications apart from those shown or suggested herein.step recited in any of the following claims is to be understood as referring to the step literally and/or to all equivalent elements or steps. In this document. the word "comprising" is used in its non-limiting sense to mean that items following the word are included. unless the context clearly requires that there be one and only one of the elements. A reference to an element by the indefinite article "a" does not exclude the possibility that more than one of the element is present.C. paragraph 6 for any limitations of any of the claims herein. but items not specifically mentioned are not excluded.