Decreasing Water Invasion Into Atoka Shale Using Nonmodified Silica Nanoparticles
- Jihua Cai (China University of Geosciences) | Martin E. Chenevert (University of Texas at Austin) | Mukul M. Sharma (University of Texas at Austin) | James E. Friedheim (M-I Swaco)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- March 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 103 - 112
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials
- pressure penetration test, fluid invasion, permeability, silica nanoparticle, shale
- 10 in the last 30 days
- 1,893 since 2007
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Fluid penetration from water-based muds into shale formations results in swelling and subsequent wellbore instability. Particles in conventional drilling fluids are too large to seal the nano-sized pore throats of shales and to build an effective mudcake on the shale surface and reduce fluid invasion. This paper presents laboratory data showing the positive effect of adding commercially available, inexpensive, nonmodified silica nanoparticles (NP) (particle sizes vary from 5 to 22 nm) to water-based drilling muds and their effect on water invasion into shale.
Six brands of commercial and nonmodified nanoparticles were tested and screened by running a three-step pressure penetration (PP) test (brine, base mud, nanoparticle mud). Two types of common water-based muds, a bentonite mud and a low-solids mud (LSM), in contact with Atoka shale were studied with and without the addition of 10 wt% nanoparticles. We found that a large reduction in shale permeability was observed when using the muds to which the nonmodified nanoparticles had been added. For the bentonite muds, the permeability of Atoka shale decreased by 57.72 to 99.33%, and, for the LSMs, the permeability of Atoka shale decreased by 45.67 to 87.63%. Higher plastic viscosity (PV) and lower yield point (YP) and fluid loss (FL) of the nanoparticle muds compared with base muds were also observed. We also found that nanoparticles varying in size from 7 to 15 nm and a concentration of 10 wt% are shown to be effective at reducing shale permeability, thereby reducing the interaction between Atoka shale and a water-based drilling fluid.
This study shows for the first time that it is possible to formulate water-based muds using inexpensive nonmodified and commercially available silica nanoparticles and that these muds significantly reduce the invasion of water into the shale. The addition of silica nanoparticles to water-based muds may offer a powerful and economical solution when dealing with wellbore-stability problems in troublesome shale formations.
|File Size||3 MB||Number of Pages||10|
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