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Advances in Environmental Research
  Volume 6, Number 3, September 2017, pages 159-171
open access

New weighting agent for water-based mud, um-bogma area, central Sinai, Egypt
Mahmoud I. Abdou and Hany El Sayed Ahmed

    A successful oil well drilling depends largely on a good mud Program. During drilling, mud provides sufficient hydrostatic pressure, removes drill cuttings and cools drill bits. Mud additives are always required to provide sufficient hydrostatic pressure to ensure borehole stability. Barium Sulphate (BaSO4) also known as barite is the prevalent weighting material but there is needed to develop local materials to augment the use of Barite. The present search is concerned on the early Carboniferous succession exposed in Um Bogma Formation, west central Sinai, Egypt as a new weighting agent in drilling fluids. The increases in the cost of drilling fluids and a shortage of using barite have introduced the locale dolomite as alternative weighting materials. The rheological properties of mud drilling samples weighted by local dolomite samples are being examined and investigated to know its potential to be used as a weighting material in drilling mud. Two mud samples were prepared which comprised of fresh water, caustic soda, bentonite and the weighting material. The weighting materials are added to achieve the required density. The first sample: Water-based mud with commercial barite of density between 10.00 lb/gm and 18.00 lb/gm. The second sample: Water-based mud with dolomite of density between 10.00 lb/gm and 18.00 lb/gm. These samples were analyzed and the density, rheological properties, aging of barite and dolomite and solid contents were investigated. At 10.00 lb/gm, the yield point of dolomite was 20.00 lb/100ft2 and barite 22.00 lb/100ft2 while the 10 second gel strength of dolomite was 30.00 lb/100ft2 and 22.00 lb/100ft2 for barite. Similarly, little difference was observed in plastic and apparent viscosities. At 10.00 lb/gm, the plastic and apparent viscosities of dolomite were 8.00 cp and 20.00 cp while barite was 8.00 cp and 24.00 cp. The result show that dolomite mud sample gave a little higher yield point and gel strength than barite mud sample. Therefore, dolomite has the potential to be used as weighting material in drilling mud in place of barite thereby enhancing the local content initiative of the government. When dolomite is sourced locally and used it will reduce overall mud and drilling costs.
Key Words
    drilling fluid; weighting agent; rheology; density; barite; um bogma; dolomite
Mahmoud I. Abdou and Hany El Sayed Ahmed: Production Department, Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute (EPRI), Cairo, Egypt

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