The usage of oil especially diesel oil as the continuous phase of drilling mud is widespread when drilling through sensitive producing formation and troublesome shale zone.
Diesel oil is harmful to the environment-particularly marine environment inoffshore application due to extensive legislation now exist in many countries to regulate this form of oil pollution. The use of palm oil derivative could be considered as an alternative based fluid which is harmless to the environment. Tests have been undertaken to evaluate the characteristics of palm oilderivative as the base fluid in the oil based mud and its toxicity effect onmarine life and results obtained showed that palm oil derivative is a suitablealternative to formulate oil based drilling Dud with the necessary rheological properties, compatible with existing mud additives and non-toxic to the marinelife.
The use of oil-based mud in drilling operation has increased significantly. Various types of low-toxicity oils had long been introduced to replace the moretoxic mineral oils and diesel oil-based Dud system which has proven toxic to the environment. This solely due to the force from the environmental regulations which may not allowed the discharge of any oil and cuttings into the sea in the future. Thus, the introduce of vegetable oils including palm oil has been suggested as alternative fluids to overcome the environmental problems.
The main advantage of these vegetable oils is that they are generally regarded as non-toxic and no aromatic content and are widely used in the food industries. In addition, they are cheaper than any mineral oils.