The Future of Aerated Fluids in the Drilling Industry
- Billy Pete Huddleston (A&M College of Texas) | William D. Strange (A&M College of Texas)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 1957
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 11 - 14
- 1957. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 2 Well Completion, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials
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The present techniques of air or gas drilling and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. The relative merits of both air and mud drilling provide the basis for the advent of aerated fluids. For the purpose of this discussion, aerated fluids are divided into two phases: (1) physical composition and (2) circulation techniques. From the previous comparison, conclusions are drawn with respect to the future of aerated fluids.
The advent of aerated fluids was a result of an attempt to avoid the limitations and yet maintain the advantages of both conventional drilling muds and air or gas when used as a drilling medium. A brief philosophical review of the petroleum industry and a summation of air and gas drilling characteristics provide the foundation for this discussion of the development and the characteristics of aerated drilling fluids.
Many technological advancements into industry can often be attributed to either or both of two major demands: (1) a physical demand for new processes in order to accomplish heretofore technically unfeasible tasks, or (2) the economic demand for an improvement of present techniques that were formerly considered prohibitive from a sound investment viewpoint. The advent of aerated drilling fluids may be attributed to both demands.
Since drilling and completion annually of over 45,000 oil and gas wells provides a total operational outlay exceeding 30 per cent of the entire producing companies' expenditures, a small technological, and eventually in economic advancement, can be of paramount importance.
It appears that the most promising fields of improvement in drilling operations lie within three problems: (1) the proper completion procedures for productive formations which have been damaged by the present drilling techniques, (2) the reduction of lost circulation costs, and (3) the reduction of the over-all operational drilling costs.
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