Oil-based mud has been used in the last few decades in the drilling operation in the world. Due to high initial cost and environmental problems associated with oil-based mud, the application of this type of drilling fluids has been gradually reducing. This has therefore dictated the companies and institutions dealing with drilling fluids technology to work on finding a suitable substitution to replace oil based mud.

A proper alternative has been known to be Water-based glycol mud. Water-based glycol mud is becoming increasingly popular due to its exceptional shale inhibition properties, environmental effectiveness, and ease of handling and high lubricity.

In This study, the possibility of replacing oil-based mud with the environmentally acceptable water-based glycol drilling mud for the Iranian fields is investigated. Rheology test is done on both OBM and glycol mud. In addition, the inhibitive property of the glycol mud is assessed using Shale particle disintegration test by hot rolling. This test is done on the cuttings from Maroon oil field and outcrop shale from Goorpi formation in Iran and shale recovery percentage is measured to evaluate the inhibition performance of glycol mud. The laboratory results confirm that the glycol mud system significantly reduces clay dispersion and hydration of cuttings and can be considered as a good alternative to oil-based fluid and other water-based mud systems.

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