The significance of exploring deep and ultra-deep wells is increasing rapidly to meet the increased global demands on oil and gas. Drilling at such depth introduces a wide range of difficult challenges and issues. One of the challenges is the negative impact on the drilling fluids rheological properties when exposed to high pressure high temperature (HPHT) conditions and/or becoming contaminated with salts, which are common in deep drilling or in offshore operations.
The drilling engineer must have a good estimate for the values of rheological characteristics of a drilling fluid, such as viscosity, yield point and gel strength, and that is extremely important for a successful drilling operation. In this research work, experiments were conducted on water-based muds with different salinity contents, from ambient conditions up to very elevated pressures and temperatures.
In these experiments, water based drilling fluids containing different types of salt (NaCl and KCl) and at different concentrations were tested by a state-of-the-art high pressure high temperature viscometer. In this paper, the effect of different electrolysis (NaCl and KCl) at elevated pressures (up to 35,000 psi) and elevated temperatures (up to 450 °F) on the viscosity of water based mud has been presented.