This study investigated the effectiveness of nano-particles, mainly silica, as an additive to water-based muds to the extent of HPHT conditions. Specifically, the study ascertained the impact of silica nano-particles in improving performance of water-based mud, the study also investigated the effect of nano-silica on mud density and also investigated the quality of silica nano-particles as a fluid loss agent and rheology modifier. The laboratory study was divided into four parts: viscosity determination, fluid loss test, sand content determination, and density determination. The experiments were conducted using water-based mud with and without silica nanoparticles. In the course of the study, the rheological, fluid loss properties, the rheological behaviour of the mud, and the cuttings transportation efficiency were directly and indirectly ascertained. From the findings, it was ascertained that nano silica improves mud viscosity, density, and also reduces yield point and fluid loss. With nano silica, the sand content of the drilling mud reduces. The effect of nanosilica in drilling fluids reduced shear stress vs. shear rate readings which could reduce the pump pressure required for mud circulation in drilling operations. Based on these findings, it is recommended that future laboratory studies be done in dynamic conditions in order to investigate the effect of drill pipe rotation on cuttings transportation improvement for water-based mud without and with nano silica.

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