The torque and drag problem is one of the major drilling challenges in deviated, horizontal, extended reach and multilateral wells and thus needs industry attention. In case of HTHP drilling, the excessive torque and drag can lead to various drilling problems including downhole tool failure. This problem is further aggravated in the presence of water-based muds due to usually high Coeffiecnt of Friction (COF) values of WBMs compared to OBMs. The COF of WBMs often lead to the termination of drilling operation before the target point, especially in extended reach drilling operations. That is why various types of solids and liquid lubricants are incorporated into a water-based mud to overcome the torque and drag problems. Most of the conventional lubricants are, however, not environment friendly and thus not appropriate in sensitive environments. This paper describes the application of an ecofriendly lubricant that can reduce the COF values of water-based mud significantly. It has been developed using a waste by-product of the food industry without including any additives to maintain the environment friendliness of the finished product. To evaluate the performance of the new lubricant, lubricity tests were conducted on three different water-based muds by incorporating 2-4% by volume of the new lubricant.
Experimental results indicate a significant reduction of the COF values of water-based muds in the presence of the new lubricant. Comparison of the COF reduction capability of the new lubricant with diesel and mineral oil lubricants indicates that the new lubricant has similar or better performance with respect to these lubricants. As the lubricant has been developed using a locally available food industry waste product, additional benfits may be realized in the potential growth of local industries. Due to the eco-friendly nature of the lubricant it will have no detrimental impact to the surrounding environments, ecosystems, localities and habitats.