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Water-Based Drilling Fluid Using Nanoparticles Proves Effective in Unconventional Shales

Traditionally, oil-based drilling fluids are preferable in drilling shale plays because of their negligible chemical interactions, but strict environmental regulations have motived the industry to design water-based muds (WBMs) capable of controlling shale/water interactions. Still, conventional additives in general are too large to plug shale microfractures and nanopores. Thus, nanoparticles, because of their size, shape, and other properties, can provide a solution for WBMs. This study focus on the design and evaluation of a customized water-based mud (NP-WBM) using silica oxide nanoparticles (SiO2-NPs) and graphene oxide nanoplatelets (GNPs).

Experimental Description

Experimental Materials. Conventional Drilling-Fluid Additives. The micro­size additives used in this work included bentonite to provide primary viscosity and xanthan gum to adjust the final rheological properties of the base fluid. Polyanionic cellulose low-­viscosity and pregelled starch were included as conventional filtrate-loss additives. Graphite was used as conventional lost-­circulation-material (LCM) additive. Potassium hydroxide was included as an alkalinity-control agent.

Nanomaterials. SiO2-NPs were supplied in a white powder form. The SiO2-NPs are near-spherical with an approximate diameter ranging between 15 and 20 nm. The NPs were unmodified (bare surface) and nonporous with a density of 0.1 g/cm3, a specific surface area of 170–200 m2/g, and purity greater than 99.5 wt%. GNPs used in this study had a density of 0.13 g/cm3. The GNPs have a 2D structure with an average particle size ranging from 1.3 to 2.3 µm and a thickness of less than 3 nm.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper IPTC 19342, “Design and Evaluation of a Water-Based Drilling-Fluid Formulation Using SIO2 and Graphene Oxide Nanoparticles for Unconventional Shales,” by Jose Aramendiz, SPE, Abdulmohsin H. Imqam, SPE, and Sherif M. Fakher, SPE, Missouri University of Science and Technology, prepared for the 2019 International Petroleum Technology Conference, Beijing, 26–28 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2019 International Petroleum Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
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Water-Based Drilling Fluid Using Nanoparticles Proves Effective in Unconventional Shales

01 November 2019

Volume: 71 | Issue: 11

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