Insights into Eco-Friendly and Conventional Drilling Additives: Applications, Cost Analysis, Health, Safety, and Environmental Considerations


Drilling fluid additives play an important role in drilling engineering. Drilling fluids assist in transporting the cuttings to the surface, control formation pressure, and cool the bit. The most common fluid additives that are used in drilling fluids are the chemical additives such as barite, bentonite, caustic soda and many more. Each chemical additive has its own set of applications. Chemical additives are used for rheological properties, filtration controls, and many more. These traditional chemical additives give promising results, but they have some side effects that are commonly ignored. These side effects include cost, health, safety, and environmental concerns. This paper presents a new alternative for drilling fluid additives which are the food waste products that are discarded by people. The main objective is to be able to use food waste products as drilling fluid additives to improve the mud rheological properties and avoid any environmental issues that are commonly caused by conventional chemical additives. The food waste products are available everywhere and are easily accessible making them a good candidate for further investigation. The cost of food waste products is less compared to the cost of chemical additives and food waste products are friendlier to the environment. The average total cost of drilling operations is expensive, and part of that expense includes the cost of drilling fluids, which is also generally high. By using food waste products, the total cost for drilling operations reduces, providing a better economic solution. Food waste products account for about 8.2% of greenhouse gas emissions and they can be utilized for better uses such as drilling fluid additives. It is also generally safer to handle food waste in comparison with chemical additives as some chemical additives have hazards that require proper equipment in order to be handled. Food waste products have the potential to compete with traditional chemical additives and they might be a good alternative. Several investigations have been carried out by people using food waste products. From the previous work and experiments carried out by people, it has shown that food waste products generally improve the mud rheological properties and fluid loss control. From the previous work, there are several shortcomings that can be avoided suggesting more evaluations. Further investigation and experiments should be carried out to gain more information and results of food waste products as a drilling fluid additive in order to be used for future drilling projects.

Meeting Name

SPE Symposium: Asia Pacific Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Responsibility 2019 (2019: Apr. 23-24, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Chemical equipment; Chemical hazards; Cost benefit analysis; Costs; Environmental protection; Food additives; Gas emissions; Greenhouse gases; Health; Infill drilling; Rheology; Risk management; Social aspects; Sodium hydroxide, Conventional drilling; Drilling engineering; Drilling fluid additives; Environmental issues; Filtration control; Fluid-loss control; Health , safety , and environmental; Rheological property, Drilling fluids

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Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2019

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