Impact Of Different Additives On Low-temperature Recrosslinkable Preformed Particle Gel To Mitigate Fluid Losses In Fractured Formations


During drilling through highly permeable or fractured formations, the entire drilling fluid or most of it might be lost into formations; this phenomenon is called lost circulation. Lost circulation can cause serious issues during drilling, such as challenging well control operations, and in some cases, complete loss of the well. In this paper, a Low-Temperature Recrosslinkable Preformed Particle Gel (LT-RPPG) was evaluated in the presence of various conventional additives to control drilling fluid loss in fractured formations. The additives tested in the study included mica, walnut shell and bentonite. Different factors were investigated, including mica concentrations, mica particle size, walnut shell concentrations and bentonite. Core flooding experiments were conducted to evaluate the LT-RPPG with the various additives plugging performance utilizing open fractured cores. The results showed that by mixing the LT-RPPG with the drilling fluid, a stronger material, reflected in a higher elastic modulus and sealing pressure, was obtained as compared by solely hydrating the LT-RPPG with brine. Also, the addition of mica and walnut shell further improved the LT-RPPG strength. While the mica particle size selection influenced the LT-RPPG rheological properties, the results from the core flooding experiments indicated the mica particle size had insignificant impact on the sealing pressure as compared with the mica concentration. Among the different tested addtivies, the optimum improvement on the LT-RPPG plugging performance was obtained by introducing 1.00% walnut shell. The mixture achieved a sealing pressure up to 5685.41 psi/ft for 3.0 mm fracture width. Furthermore, the core flooding results exhibited that the LT-RPPG combined with the additives effectivility reduced the fracture permeability to more than 108 times even after the gel rupture by subsequent drilling fluid circulation.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Second Department



ConocoPhillips, Grant None

Keywords and Phrases

Flaky and granular materials; Fracture sealing pressure; Fractured formations; Lost circulation materials; Recrosslinked preformed particle gel; Swellable/hydratable materials

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Article - Journal

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© 2023 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2023