The most frequently encountered problems while drilling an oil or natural gas well are lost circulation; the uncontrolled flow of drilling fluids into a downhole formation and differential sticking; condition whereby the drill string cannot be moved along the axis of the wellbore. These problems in turn augment the non-productive time (NPT) causing substantial financial loss. These harms occur generally in the vicinity of porous & permeable zones. The proposed method incorporates using Silicon nanoparticles in drilling mud composition to decrease the mud cake thickness.
The advantage of Silicon nanoparticles is that, there is formation of more continuous and integrated mud cake. Hence, by having an integrated (having low permeability and low porosity) mud cake, there is less volume of filtrate entering the formation and therefore mud cake thickness is less than in normal cases. The consistent particle size distribution provides better compaction medium with constrained flow of liquid from the drilling fluid. Furthermore, a thinner mud cake reduces the probability of stuck pipe. The addition of Silicon nanoparticles does not have much effect on the drilling fluid viscosity and other properties.
Silicon nanoparticles have thermal stability upto 2500 degree Fahrenheit. Moreover, the use of Silicon nanoparticles does not have side effects on the environment. These nanoparticles are generally immediately available in the required volumes. These require simple application techniques, consequently providing an appropriate solution to problems like stuck pipe and loss circulation while drilling.
This technique will provide novel insight in the reduction of problems faced while drilling (both vertical and deviated) wells and help in countering those problems in a more efficient and environment friendly manner.