Drilling wastes generated in large volumes is recognized to have many effects on the environment. Several techniques have been applied by the oil and gas industry to overcome the impacts of drilling waste on the environment, an example of these techniques is using environmentally friendly drilling fluid additives.

This work investigates the potential of using Fibrous Food Waste Material (FFWM) as an environmentally friendly drilling fluid additive. This material was prepared in-house. Experimental evaluation has been carried out to investigate the ability of FFWM to enhance several properties of water-based drilling fluid under two different pH conditions. The FFWM was first evaluated at 9.3 pH then the pH was increased using sodium hydroxide to 11.5. Several properties of drilling fluid were measured. The measurements included testing the rheological properties using viscometer, measuring the filtration using standard low-pressure low-temperature filter press, the pH using pH tester, and other important properties.

The findings of this work showed that FFWM in 9.3 pH environment reduced the fluid loss by 18% and 30% when 1% and 2% concentrations of FFWM were added, respectively. This reduction in fluid loss was along with forming a thin filter cake. The filter cake thickness of the reference fluid was decreased from 3 mm to 2.14 mm and 1.9 mm at 1% and 2% concentrations of FFWM. Additionally, FFWM resulted in increasing the plastic viscosity (PV) compared to the reference fluid by 33.33% at 1% and 2% concentrations. While the yield point (YP) was increased by 22.22% and 44.44% when 1% and 2% concentrations of FFWM were added, respectively. Both the initial and final gel strengths were increased by 27.27%, 44.44 %, 7.14% and 14.28% at 1% and 2% concentrations, respectively. Moreover, the results in 11.5 pH emphasized the efficient performance of FFWM, and it showed better improvement in the filtration specifications and the rheological properties. In other words, PV, YP, and gel strength were significantly increased; while the fluid loss was very low and the filter cake was very thin at 11.5 pH condition compared to 9.3 pH condition for the same concentrations, proving the ability of FFWM to perform better under higher pH condition.

The significant enhancement in the rheological and filtration properties, suggesting the applicability of using this additive as a rheology modifier and filtration control agent. These results showed the potential use of FFWM as an alternative for some of the toxic materials used today in the oil and gas industry. This work demonstrates that this additive will help to reduce both the impact on the environment along with reducing the cost of drilling fluid and drilling waste handling.

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