The use of salts, such as potassium chloride (KCl) and sodium chloride (NaCl), as temporary clay stabilizers during oil well drilling, completions and servicing has been in practice for many years. Their effectiveness in this practice has been well established throughout the industry. However, because of the bulk and potential environmental hazards associated with the salts, many operators have begun to search out alternatives to their use.
Recent research has developed a relationship between physical properties of various cations (K+, Na+, etc.) and their efficiency as temporary clay stabilizers. These physical properties were then utilized to synthesize an organic cation with a higher efficiency as a clay stabilizer than the typical salts now used in the oil industry. This allows much lower salt concentrations to be used to obtain the same clay stabilizing effectiveness. The liquid product has proven to be much easier to handle and transport. It has been shown to be environmentally compatible and is biodegradable in its diluted form. Its effectiveness in fracturing operations has been extensively proven in numerous treatments in various formations throughout the U.S. and Canada.