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DOLOMITE AS AN ALTERNATIVE WEIGHTING AGENT IN DRILLING FLUIDS

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Author(s): M. J. BADRUL | L.L. CHIOU | Z. AZLINA | Z. JULIANA

Journal: Journal of Engineering Science and Technology
ISSN 1823-4690

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 164;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Drilling fluids | Weighting agent | Density | Viscosity | Gel strength | Filtrate Loss

ABSTRACT
A series of experimental tests have been conducted to assess the suitability of using dolomite as an alternative weighting agent in drilling fluids. Currently, barite is widely used as weighting agent in drilling fluids slurry to ensure proper weights are achieved. However, barite contains toxic materials which make it unattractive from health and environment point of views. This is especially true when drilling operations are offshore, where most of the used drilling fluids will be dumped back into the sea. In this work, rheological properties of dolomite blend drilling fluids slurry were studied. Dolomite rocks were first crushed to produce dolomite powder, before being mixed with water and bentonite at various proportions. A total of 10 samples which contains various percentages of water, bentonite and dolomite were studied. For each sample, its rheological properties were determined. Such properties include density from mud balance, viscosity from viscometer, filtrate loss from API filter press and gel strength. The effect of aging on the properties of drilling fluids was also studied. From the study, it is concluded that Sample E, which consists of 70% dolomite by weight, produces the most stable drilling fluids. It is also observed that the amount of 336 g of dolomite in the sample shows the similar physical and rheological properties to that of the 480 g barite in the sample although the density for both samples is not same.
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