Use of Oil-emulsion Mud in the Sivells Bend Field
- W.H. Echols (Standard Oil Company of Texas)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Transactions of the AIME
- Publication Date
- December 1948
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 229 - 237
- 1948. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 2 Well Completion, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 4.3.4 Scale, 1.6 Drilling Operations
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An oil-emulsion mud, consisting of a mixture of oil-base mud and bentoniticwater-base mud, has been used experimentally in drilling 8 of the 35 wells inthe Sivells Bend field, Cooke County, Texas. Experience indicates theoil-emulsion mud can be controlled in much the same manner as a water-base mud,and the "drilling" functions of the two types of mud are comparable.The average water-loss for the oil-emulsion mud was 3.8 cu cm per well. Whenusing oil-emulsion mud to drill the last 2000 ft of 7000 ft wells, the mudcosts were approximately 2Y2 times that of water-base mud. There is nothing toindicate well productivities have been affected through the use of oil-emulsionmud. However, drilling time and bit footages were increased and the holes weremaintained more closely to bit guage. The apparent advantages gained throughthe use of oil-emulsion mud in the Sivells Bend field do not appear to justifythe increase in mud costs.
Until a comparatively few years ago most of the development of drilling mud wasdirected toward improving the functions of the mud as related to actualdrilling operations. The industry has long recognized that one disadvantage ofrotary drilling over cable-tool drilling is the possibility of injury toproducing zones through the blocking effect resulting from the infiltration ofwater or mud into the sands. Recognizing this disadvantage, considerableattention has been diverted toward the development of muds that will improvethe quality of well completions through the reduction or elimination of waterinto the sands, but without sacrificing too many of their "drilling"functions and at a cost commensurate with the benefits derived from their use.This phase of mud research has already found practical application, forexample, in the development of the Rangely field, Colorado, it appears the useof oil-base mud during drilling-in operations will contribute appreciablytoward making this exploitation more profitable.
Much of the discussion to follow will be better understood if a brief sketch ofthe Sivells Bend field is given. The Sivells Bend field, discovered by TheTexas Co. in 1944 and still in the process of development, is in a large bendon the Texas side of the Red River about 85 miles north of Dallas.Geologically, the structure is an unsymmetrical anticline, with faulting havingcontributed to its development. The productive sands are of the Strawn seriesof Pennsylvanian age, the sands being lenticular in character and varyingconsiderably in development from well to well. At present there are 35producing wells in the field, producing from seven different sand lenses. Theproductive sand lenses vary from 15 to 50 ft in thickness and the individualsands have average permeabilities of from 75 to 375 md.
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