To study the mechanisms of action of polymeric components in water-based drilling muds
To evaluate the influence of polymeric characteristics and downhole conditions on their effectiveness
To establish criteria for optimising the structure of a stabilising polymer for a given set of conditions
To identify appropriate testing procedures and monitoring criteria for inhibitive mud systems.
The interactions of chemically active shale formations and water-based muds used to drill oil and gas wells can lead to serious drilling and wellbore stability problems. One way to overcome this is to use oil-based muds but they are expensive and increasingly subject to environmental constraints. This has led to increased activity in recent years to develop inhibitive water-based drilling fluids using polymeric components both to stabilise the wellbore and to inhibit dispersion of shale cuttings. This research programme aims to address these issues.
The tasks of the work programme include:
Selection and characterisation of fluid components and model shale systems
Interaction of fluid components and model solids
Performance of polymeric muds and sensitivity to wellbore environment and oilfield chemicals quality
Development of criteria for mud component selection, monitoring and operating conditions.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
CB3 0EL Cambridge