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Lubra-glide Bead® recovery unit

The original BRU technology

The Lubra-Glide Bead Recovery Unit (BRU) (Patent # US RE 38,367 E) is a system by which our patented process of recovering Lubra-Glide Beads for continuous recycling in drilling and completion fluids is accomplished.


  • Primary Shaker with Hydro-cyclone
  • Separation/Wash Tank
  • Separation Tank w/Built-in Primary Shaker
  • Recovery Shaker
  • Drip Pan
  • Parts Box with Assorted Parts
  • Power Supply
  • Total Weight of Typical Unit

Use, recover and reuse while significantly reducing drill string and casing wear!

The process is simple and efficient. Lubra-Glide co-polymer beads and cuttings are removed by the rig shaker and washed down into the recovery tank. The turbulent water action within the recovery tank serves to separate Lubra-Glide beads from the cuttings. Upon separation, the cuttings settle quickly to the bottom and are transported across our high-speed cuttings shaker screens. The finer solids and Lubra-Glide beads are then pumped to one or two hydro-cyclone manifolds mounted atop our high-speed cuttings shaker equipped with 150 to 250 mesh screens (or operator specified mesh). The Lubra-Glide beads with an average specific gravity virtually equal to that of water (SG 1.06) are forced upward through the hydro-cyclone discharge vortex while the unwanted solids travel downward for discharge.

At this point the final recovery step takes place. The bead-carrying fluid discharged through the hydro-cyclone discharge vortex is directed by hose across our recovery shaker. This final separation of Lubra-Glide beads from the fluid assures re-introduction of clean beads into the circulation system via the rig suction pit and the return of the fluid back to its original point, the recovery tank keeping the fluid in its own “closed loop” system.

This recovery process allows for 90 to 98% of the Lubra-Glide beads to be recovered. The continuous re-introduction of Lubra-Glide beads into the drilling and/or completion fluid creates a constant free-flowing concentration of beads working downhole to effectively reduce torque and drag conditions.


  • Closed loop system and environmentally safe
  • Reduces torque and drag in drilling operations
  • Provides non-abrasive mechanical lubrication
  • Reduces drill pipe damage and casing wear
  • Reduces drag while running casing
  • 90+% effective in recovery
  • Compatible with all muds
  • Successful lateral lengths >25,000 feet


  • I don’t know why all our rigs are not using LG Beads and BRU. We never have a problem with getting liner to bottom or have torque
    or drag issues. We have no problem with abnormal wear on drill pipe either. I would not want to attempt to drill a Three Forks well without having SUN on location.

    Company Man, Bakken
  • “We are seeing big improvements in torque reduction, controlling under 30,000 ft/lbs in these 10 K Laterals…”
    “We are out drilling competitors for these 10k laterals using conventional drilling tools and water base muds…”
    “We can do 25 foot slides in 25 to 30 minutes, without the Beads and RU (recovery unit) it takes up to 3 hours…”
    “Also it appears that the RU (recovery unit) can recover near 70% of our LCM products…”
    “The equipment runs great and the service techs are very responsible and knowledgeable…”

    Company Man, Rocky Mountains
  • Because of the extremely high torque we encounter, the only two ways we can drill these wells is with SUN’s Drill Beads, or using oilbased mud. It’s much less expensive to use the beads and SUN’s recovery unit.

    Major Independent, DJ Basin
  • Before we were sliding at 21.5 feet per hour. After a four (4) pound per barrel addition of Lubra-Glide with the bead recovery operation, the ROP sliding increased to 59.4 feet per hour the first day, 76.2 feet per hour the second day, and 93.2 feet per hour the third day and maintained to TD.

  • Before Lubra-Glide beads and bead recovery unit application, rotating ROP was averaging 55 feet per hour. After additions of six (6) pounds per barrel and bead recovery operations, the average ROB over the next 5 days was 151 feet per hour.

  • After the system was treated with 5 pounds per barrel of Lubra-Glide beads and the operation of the bead recovery unit the torque dropped from 18,000 foot pounds to 12,000 foot pounds. The ROP rotating increased from 60 feet per hour to 140 feet per hour.

  • After adding 5 pounds per barrel of Lubra-Glide beads to the mud system and operation of the bead recovery system, the rotating ROP increased from 50 feet per hour to 150 feet per hour with the same weight on bit.