A New Additive for Control of Drilling Mud Filtration
- R.A. Salathiel (Humble Oil and Refining Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 1952
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 85 - 90
- 1952. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials
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A new synthetic material has been developed which is highly effective in treating drilling muds to reduce filtration rate. The material is the soluble salt of a very high molecular weight condensation product of sulfonated phenol and formaldehyde (SPIF). Laboratory tests show that SPIF is effective in muds of all salinities varying from fresh water to saturated salt water. Alkaline materials, such as soda ash or caustic and quebracho, may be used in combination with SPIF to advantage, and are essential in muds containing saturated salt water. In a field test where the water used in the mud had a salinity of about one-half that of sea water, SPIF in combination with caustic and quebracho made a very satisfactory mud. SPIF does not ferment, but due probably to additional polymerization a slight decrease in effectiveness is found when it is subjected to high pH and high temperature for a long time.
Drilling mud is essential in rotary drilling. The influence of variations in the different properties of a mud on its ability to perform the various functions in drilling of wells is thoroughly understood in some cases and poorly understood in others. For instance, the function of mud density in restraining high pressure fluids is simple and well known. On the other hand, while the value of low filtration is widely recognized, it is seldom possible to determine precisely what filtration rate is required for the mud to perform its functions properly. Filtration rate is important because it influences the ease of moving tools in or out of the hole. Filtration rate also affects the stability of the bore hole walls, which are subject to softening and degradation by aqueous filtrate. Difficulties in rotary drilling are often avoided by using low-filtration muds.
Treatment of fresh-water muds to provide moderately low filtration rates usually consists of adding chemicals to improve the dispersion of the clays. To provide very low filtration rates, organic colloidal materials are added. Among the materials that are used in this way are starch, natural gums, and altered celluloses. In muds that contain large amounts of salt or calcium or magnesium ions, the clays are coagulated and, as a consequence, the filtration rate is undesirably high. In such muds organic colloids are of great importance.
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