Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 14, Issue 2, 2012; Page No.(175-180)

FORMULATION OF SYNTHETIC-BASED DRILLING FLUID USING PALM OIL DERIVED ESTER

FRANCIS D. UDOH, JOY J. ITAH AND ANIETIE N. OKON

Abstract

The environmental challenges posed by oil-based drilling fluids along with legislation associated with their use have necessitated the development of synthetic organic liquids that are designed to improve environmental performance. In this regard, a synthetic-based mud was formulated from palm fruit pulp (“abak” mud) and tested for its rheological properties, as well as density and pH values. The results obtained show that the derived muds rheological properties compare favourably with those of bentonite mud even though its density and pH values were below the acceptable standard for any drilling operation. However, when beneficiated with soda ash (Na2CO3), local starch (cassava), barite (BaSO4) and local charcoal, the formulated muds rheological parameters along with the density and pH values improved appreciably. The yield point and plastic viscosity increased by111% and 34.62% respectively with the addition of 4.0g soda ash (Na2CO3), 6.0g local charcoal and 10g local starch to the formulated drilling fluid. The pH value increased from 5.80 to 9.18 (about 58.27%) with increased soda ash (Na2CO3) content of 4g to 350mL of “abak” mud and the density increased from 994.56kg/m3 to 1150.33kg/m3 (about 15.66%) with the addition of 15g barite (BaSO4) content to 350mL of the formulated drilling mud. These numbers compare favourably with bentonite mud as its density and pH values were determined to be 1054.97kg/m3 and 9.20 respectively. It can be adduced from these results that, with appropriate and adequate additives, the formulated synthetic-based drilling mud could compete favourably with bentonite as a possible drilling fluid for the oil and gas industry.

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