Development of Water-Based Drilling Fluids Customized for Shale Reservoirs
- Jay P. Deville (Halliburton) | Brady Fritz (Halliburton) | Michael Jarrett (Halliburton)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- December 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 484 - 491
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.8.2 Shale Gas, 1.1 Well Planning, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials
- WBM, shale gas, drilling fluids, customized
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- 1,609 since 2007
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Drilling activity has increased dramatically in unconventional shale gas reservoirs. The drilling fluid of choice in these shale plays is often nonaqueous-based fluid (NAF). While NAFs can provide advantages such as shale stabilization, lubricity, and contamination tolerance, environmental consequences and associated costs are an issue. These disadvantages cause operators to seek water-based muds (WBMs) for drilling many of these gas reservoirs.
Despite some operational similarities, a wide variety of unique downhole conditions can be found in the shale plays. Shale mineralogy and bottomhole temperature (BHT) represent just two highly variable critical factors in unconventional gas reservoirs. Therefore, a single water-based solution for addressing shale plays globally is not a realistic option. Instead, a customized approach that delivers WBMs formulated specifically for a given shale play has been pursued.
Customization relies on detailed analysis of the well parameters of a given shale play. This analysis includes not only the shale morphology and lithology but also well drilling program plans, environmental factors, and other reservoir-specific considerations. Applying appropriate drilling-fluid chemistries on the basis of this detailed analysis has led to the successful field deployment of a number of new shale fluids.
Details of the process used for customizing a WBM for a shale play, as well as specific examples of new fluids developed for the Barnett, Fayetteville, and Haynesville shales, are presented in this paper. Full laboratory development and testing are described. Additionally, field-trial results are presented that show that specially designed WBMs can provide performance comparable to that of NAFs, but with enhanced environmental and economic benefits. Application of the customization process to develop WBMs for other shale plays around the globe is also discussed.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||8|
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