Specialty Additives for Water-based Muds
How can we improve suspension without impacting viscosity?
a. LAPONITE-RD provides tremendous low-shear-rate viscosity (LSRV) improvements, typically below the 3-rpm reading. This synthetic hectorite works best in fresh water systems, but will not thermally flocculate.
b. We are currently developing a fast acting LAPONITE grade that will incorporate with less sheer or mixing time requirements. This material provides greater 3-4x the LSRV compared to traditional biopolymers. It is also recommended for use in fresh water systems.
We need to reduce the mud’s viscosity.
a. The first line of attack should be optimizing the existing solids control equipment to minimize drill solid contamination. This takes time and may also require dilution.
b. Alternatively, you could treat the mud with 0.1 – 1.0 lb/bbl BYK-153 or BYK-155 to quickly reduce excessive gel strengths and the yield point. This will enable the solids to settle in the settling tank for removal while drilling ahead. These powerful deflocculant should be pilot tested to avoid over-treatment. These liquid polymers are cost effective alternatives to lignosulfonate and other lignite derivatives. By using these chemical thinners, excess dilution with water can be minimized and reduce overall AFE costs.
We hit a pocket of sour gas and need to remove H2S!
a. BYK-GO 8780, liquid zinc, will rapidly treat and precipitate out H2S gas. It is recommended to maintain excess scavenger in the system to prevent any H2S gas to reach the surface. If there is a remote chance of encountering sour gas in a field, please maintain a suitable scavenger at the well site. A dispersant is recommended for bentonite containing muds.
Can we remove the foam and stop it from returning?
a. Try to identify the source. Often air-entrainment is due to the chemical hopper being left open.
b. BYK-GO 8751 is an economical and effective alternative to Al-stearate. This defoamer does not need to be mixed. When other defoamers work, try BYK-GO 8750. This premium anti-foam agent effectively defoams and often prevents foam from returning. Ideally, you would add small (0.1-0.25 lb/bbl) pretreatment to the mud system and likely avoid any foaming issues.