Investigation of types of drilling mud and their properties

Different types of drilling mud have various applications and properties. In this article we would want to introduce you their types of applications and properties.

Water-based drilling mud

Water-based drilling mud is one of the most widely used types of drilling mud in the well drilling industry. This fluid is most commonly used to remove chips from drilling wells. The reason for this application is its proper adaptability to the environment. This water-based fluid is a mixture of water and salt. In general, water-based drilling mud uses a specific polymeric composition to create adhesion or viscosity. This polymer compound can also be linear, cross-linked, synthetic or biopolymer.

One type of water-based drilling muds can be Visco-Elastic Surfactants (VES). The fluid has a surfactant that has both viscosity and elastic properties. These properties make it self-healing which results in recycling its rheological properties. This feature has also made it more affordable to use than other expensive drilling mud, due to its longer service life and lack of continuous recovery.

Oil-based drilling mud

The second type of drilling mud is oil-based drilling mud. In general, this type of muds are more expensive than aqueous fluids. Its higher cost is also due to the more complex formulation which has been employed to produce this type of muds. However due to its complex formulation it is more advantageous in comparison with water-based fluids. Better drilling lubrication, much more ability to carry all kinds of chips from wells, proper control to prevent drilling fluid loss, are some of the features that the oil-based drilling mud has brought to the industry.

Of course, along with all the positive features, the negative aspects of this mud should also be considered. Oil-based drilling types make poor connections between the cement and the wall. Oily fluids, on the other hand, can cause proven environmental damage. In this context, it is interesting to note that the recent use of plant-based oils, such as palm oil, instead of diesel oil, has greatly reduced the environmental damage caused by this fluid.

Synthetic-based drilling mud

The synthetic-based muds are very similar in appearance to the oil-based types. But in their composition as a base fluid, a synthetic material is used instead of oil. The first and foremost feature of synthetic-based fluids is their greater environmental compatibility than oil-based fluids. The reason for this compatibility is also the less use of aromatic compounds in their structure.

Synthetic-based fluids have undergone changes and improvements over various stages. The first samples of these fluids were made from poly-alpha olefins, esters, or ethers. The basic drawbacks of these samples were their high adhesion or viscosity, which made it difficult to pump fluid. In modified samples, the use of linear alpha olefins, linear paraffin and isomeric olefins reduced the viscosity of these fluids, resulting in lower operating production costs.

Emulsion-based drilling mud
As the name implies, both water and oil-based samples are used in its structure. In the emulsion-based drilling mud, water and salt solution has been used for the external phase and oil for the internal phase. Of course, emulsion fluids has also experienced improvements. For example, the replacement of synthetic hydrocarbons with oil in the internal phase is currently underway, which can be considered as a modification.

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