Insights into the Application of New Eco-Friendly Drilling Fluid Additive to Improve the Fluid Properties in Water-Based Drilling Fluid Systems


The objective of this work is to develop an eco-friendly drilling fluid additive to regulate filtrate and mud cake thickness as well as to assess other drilling fluid properties. The biodegradable Grass Powder (GP) was selected as a fibrous fluid-loss agent to be compared with the conventional chemical additive (starch). Fluid samples including GP and starch additives were prepared in various concentrations to examine the effect of concentration variation on the reference fluid. The effects of introducing different concentrations of GP and starch on the physical and chemical properties of the drilling fluid (e.g. mud weight (MW), plastic viscosity (PV), yield point (YP), the filtration characteristics, rheological properties, calcium content (Ca++), solid content (SC), NaCl concentration, and pH) were evaluated. The evaluation included conducting lab experiments with full-set measurements following the specifications of the American Petroleum Institute (API).

The test results of 0.5%, 1%, and 1.5% GP were compared to the same concentrations of starch. Starch was less effective than GP in improving filtration specifications. For instance, in low-temperature and low-pressure (LTLP) filtration test, the fluid loss was decreased by 42% and 28% using 0.5% of GP and starch additives, respectively. Similarly, in high-temperature and high-pressure (HTHP) filtration test, 0.5% of GP and starch decreased fluid loss by 26% and 3%, respectively when comparing them to the reference fluid. On the other hand, starch was more efficient than GP in terms of improving the rheological properties for all different concentrations; while both GP and starch had no effect on MW and negligible impact on SC. In addition, GP additives resulted in increasing NaCl more than starch at different concentrations; while GP reduced the alkalinity and Ca++ more than starch for all concentrations as compared to the reference fluid.

In brief, this study shows that GP can reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste, and it has a promising potential to be utilized as a supportive biodegradable drilling fluid additive.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Keywords and Phrases

Biodegradable waste; Drilling fluid; Environmentally friendly additive; Filtration propertiesty

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2019