Environmental Impact Evaluation of a Safe Drilling Mud
- Adesina Adebayo Fadairo (Covenant University Ota Nigeria) | Gbadegesin Abiodun Adeyemi | Anthony Ameloko (Covenant University) | Eseoghene Ogidigbo (Covenant University) | Oyakhire Airende (Covenant University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Middle East Health, Safety, Security, and Environment Conference and Exhibition, 2-4 April, Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2.7.1 Completion Fluids, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.4.10 Microbial Methods, 2.2.3 Fluid Loss Control, 6.5.5 Oil and Chemical Spills, 2 Well Completion, 6.1 HSSE & Social Responsibility Management, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 1.8 Formation Damage
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Due to increase in environmental legislation against the disposition of oil based mud and an increase in environmental awareness, there is need for drilling companies to come up with a superior drilling mud with little or no aromatic content, which is biodegradable and environmentally friendly which poses no health hazard to oilfield workers and the host community.
For this study, oil extracted from the non food plant seeds (jatropha and canola seeds) were used as the base fluid for drilling mud samples in laboratory, oil in water emulsion was made using oil-water ratio of 70 to 30. 200ml of oil; 350ml of water, 50g of bentonite and barite was finally added to build the density up to 10ppg. Three mud samples were formulated with three different based fluids which are diesel, jatropha and canola oil based mud samples. Different mud laboratory tests such as toxicity, filtration, pH, viscosity and density were carried out on the three samples to ascertain their suitability properties for drilling operation and their degree of safety to the environment.
The results obtained show that jatropha has the lowest viscosity, which imply less resistance to flow and lower pressure losses. The outcome of toxicity test confirmed jatropha to be safer and less harmful to plant life and soil micro organism while diesel proved to be most toxic among the three samples. The overall results obtained from laboratory tests indicate that jatropha oil based mud pose great chance of being among the technically and environmentally viable replacements for convectional diesel oil based mud. The study serves as one of the ending solution to the environmental problem associated to oil based drilling operation especially in deep water exploitation.
Oil-based drilling fluids have some advantages that make them especially desirable for drilling certain types of formations. Oil-based muds generally provide better performance in very hot or very cold environments. Oil-based muds cause fewer problems when drilling shale formations and allow drilling of salt zones with minimal dissolving of salt. However, there are greater costs and potential pollution problems which make it a bad choice for environmentally sensitive areas
Drilling mud is in varying degrees of toxicity. It is difficult and expensive to dispose in an environmentally friendly manner. Protection of the environment from pollutants has become a serious task. In most countries like Nigeria, the drilling fluids industries have had numerous restrictions placed on some materials they use and the methods of their disposal. Now, at the beginning of the 1990's, the restrictions are becoming more stringent and restraints are becoming worldwide issues. One of the products that have been particularly affected by restrictions is oil-based mud. This fluid has been the mud of choice for many environments because of their better qualities. Potential liability, latent cost, and negative publicity associated with an oil-mud spill are economic concerns. There is the urgent need for the drilling fluids industry to provide alternatives to diesel oil-based mud. Researches and surveys have been on track for the past two to three decades in response to harmfull impact of diesel based mud on enviroment, and have come up with the new trend in the energy industry with the emergence of the use of plant oils as diesel substitutes. Over the years, plant oils have become increasingly popular in the raw materials market for diesel substitutes. The most popular being: Rapeseed oil, Jatropha oil, Mahua oil, Cottonseed oil, Sesame oil, Soya bean oil, palm oil etc. This brings about the importance of agro allied intervention in the energy industry.
In recent times, following the outcomes of the past researches carried out, synthetic oils are now considered more environmentally friendly than the conventional diesel or mineral oil based mud.
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