The Nature of Hastings Drilling Mud by Supercentrifuge and X-ray Analysis
- George H. Fancher (U. of Texas) | S.C. Oliphant (U. of Texas)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Transactions of the AIME
- Publication Date
- December 1943
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 221 - 232
- 1943. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2 Well Completion, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment
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Two samples of drilling mud from the Hastings oil field, Texas, were tested,and the solids in each were separated into small fractions of a limited rangein particle size. The mineral composition of each fraction by X-ray analysis isreported, and the results are interpreted in relation to other measuredquantities, such as the physical properties of the original samples and thedensity of the various fractions. It was found that only 7 to 8 per cent byweight of the solids was of colloidal dimensions and that neither of thesamples contained montmorillonite but did contain illite. Considerable calcitewas also found. These data should be useful to the geologist interested in theorigin and history of sedimentary strata as well as to the petroleumengineer.
the physical and chemical properties of clay suspensions, it is difficult todefine precisely a drilling mud, and much more difficult to say whatconstitutes a good mud.
It is generally believed that the smaller particles of a drilling mud greatlyaffect its physical properties. In fact, it is customary to blame the colloidsin a mud for nearly everything that goes amiss, because colloidal propertieshave effects out of all usual proportion on viscosity, filtration rate andreaction to electrolytes. It is germane to know whether drilling muds possesscolloids and if so, the quantity and kind.
The questions, What is good drilling mud? What constitutes bad drilling mud?are pertinent, because the proper use and control of drilling fluids has been afactor of great importance in the successful drilling and completion of oilwells since the days of Captain Lucas. Adequate control of the characteristicsof drilling fluids has assumed greater significance comparatively recentlybecause of the problems introduced by caving formations in deep wells, costlyblowouts and impressive mud bills.
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