Characterization of Encapsulated Oil as an Additive to Water-Based Drilling Fluids: Operational Improvements in Lubricity, Drag, and ROP
- F.J. Schuh (Drilling Technology Inc.) | A. Coragliotti (Solazyme Inc) | C.D. DiCicco (Solazyme Inc) | R.A. Nagatani (Solazyme Inc) | A. Rea (ARC Fluid Technologies LLC) | T. Carlton (ARC Fluid Technologies LLC) | P. Johnson (Fidelity Exploration and Production) | R. Noble (Cathedral Energy Services)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Western North American and Rocky Mountain Joint Meeting, 17-18 April, Denver, Colorado
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2014. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.3.4 Scale, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 1.6.10 Running and Setting Casing, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.6.2 Technical Limit Drilling, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.6.1 Drilling Operation Management, 1.5 Drill Bits, 1.6.6 Directional Drilling, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc)
- ROP Enhancer, Drilling, Lubricant
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As the drilling industry moves towards extended-reach wells in increasingly challenging formations, the need to identify operational solutions (e.g., drilling fluids and lubricity additives) to reduce friction, torque, and drag has become more important. Additionally, as the industry looks to maximize the use of water based drilling fluids (to benefit from lower drilling fluid costs and improved environmental profile), the need to find novel additives that can improve lubricity has increased. However, current methodologies for reducing downhole friction in horizontal wells generally involve reactive addition of lubricant products that are broadly acting, that may adversely affect the rheology of the fluid system, or that may dissipate or degrade over time. To address the need for new additives, a novel biotechnology method for encapsulating oil in polysaccharide-based polymers has been developed that selectively delivers extreme-pressure (EP) lubricants at areas of high shear, pressure, and friction (e.g., between the drill string and formation/casing, between drill bit and formation).
Due to the protection afforded by encapsulation, this targeted friction inhibitor can be proactively added to water-based drilling fluid systems, where it circulates through the system until conditions are met to break the capsule and release lubricant. Observations in laboratory and field testing suggest operational improvements in running casing, reduction of torque/drag, reduction of bit balling, and higher ROP.
Results, Observations and Conclusions
Our characterization of encapsulated oil has shown reduction of the coefficient of friction by over 80% in water-based mud formulations in the laboratory. In field-scale testing at the
Catoosa Testing Facility, we have observed reductions in torque and drag of up to 45% and 50% respectively and up to 20% improvement in Rate of Penetration (ROP) in horizontal drilling after addition of encapsulated oil to a water-based polymer mud system. In a commercial well, an ROP increase of up to 216% was observed after addition of encapsulated oil to a saturated sodium chloride drilling fluid system.
Our field testing and characterization in a commercial well have demonstrated the utility of adding encapsulated oil to a water-based mud-system to drill horizontal wells to improve the operational efficiency of drilling.
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