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SPE 61040 Can advances in drilling fluid design further reduce the environmental effects of water and organic

-phase drilling fluids?
J. M. Getliff, SPE, M-I L.L.C.; A. J. Bradbury, SPE, M-I L.L.C.; C. A. Sawdon, SPE, M-I L.L.C.; J. E. Candler, M-I L.L.C.; G. Loklingholm, STATOIL A/S

Copyright 2000, Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc. This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE International Conference on Health, Safety, and the Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production held in Stavanger, Norway, 26–28 June 2000. This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Papers presented at SPE meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper for commercial purposes without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, SPE, P.O. Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax 01-972-952-9435.

of colloidal weighting agents can be designed to optimize waste management and reduce the amount of waste. These technologies also facilitate the re-use and recycling of drilling fluids and their components. Introduction To significantly reduce the environmental impact of drilling operations, the process of drilling a well needs to be viewed holistically and environmental benefits need to be tied to financial savings. For example, which is more advantageous, drilling quickly with an “expensive” fluid that saves four days rig costs and thus reduces overall CO2 emissions or using a “low-cost” fluid which does not perform as well as the expensive one and results in increased rig costs and emissions. It is equally important to ensure that the fluid used to drill the reservoir section maximizes recovery of the available hydrocarbons and reduces the need to drill more wells. This paper uses some of the concepts of life cycle analysis1 to consider the total impact of the various stages of drilling. Factors that should be considered when trying to optimize the overall waste management strategy include total materials used as well as solid, liquid and gas emissions. One of the key points of an effective waste management strategy is the waste management hierarchy. Figure 1 ranks the desirability of each stage of the hierarchy. The best solution is to avoid producing the waste, but if this is unavoidable, then the amount of waste produced should be minimized. Steps should then be taken to maximize the recovery, re-use and recycling of materials before reducing the amount of material for final disposal 2. Avoid - Reduce Well Intervention Reduction of the total number of operations/interventions required to extract hydrocarbons will result in a reduction of both the total energy budget and the overall environmental impact. It is also important to recover the maximum amount of hydrocarbons (or energy) from the reservoir. This means that in addition to drilling to the reservoir quickly and efficiently, it is also necessary that drilling practices do not reduce the productivity of the reservoir causing an increase in the overall energy costs. For example, use of a single non-damaging fluid to drill from the upper hole section down through to the reservoir and complete the well would reduce or eliminate the use of spacers

Abstract Over the years the industry has seen major changes in drilling fluids technology, especially in the field of organic-phase fluids (OPF) such as diesel, mineral oil and synthetic hydrocarbon base fluids. Environmental concerns have driven the development of 'traditional' oil-based fluids away from diesel and through to the less toxic, more biodegradable synthetics such as esters and olefins. Many companies are now considering the overall picture regarding the disposal of wastes and are looking for alternative uses for drilling byproducts, thus turning wastes into useful raw commodities. While organic-phase fluids evolved, research into waterbased fluids (WBF), which are generally considered less harmful to the environment, concentrated on duplicating the technical performance of oil-based fluids, the absence of oily discharges being the environmental benefit. A more holistic view of the overall impact of WBF discharges and concerns about the persistence of some WBF chemicals has now focused development on alternative ways to further reduce the impact of water-based fluids on the environment and accelerate recovery of the impacted areas. The key to reducing the environmental impact of drilling fluids is typified by the standard waste management hierarchy. The areas to consider are source reduction, recycling/re-use of the product, recovery of useful or valuable materials and treatment prior to disposal. The focus of this paper is how new technologies can be used to bring about these changes and to discuss the various ways in which the amount of drilling fluid by-products can be reduced. The paper also describes ways in which new drilling fluid developments such as salt-free drilling fluids or the use

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SPE 61040

for fluid displacements thus reducing the mud volume losses when displacing to brine. Similarly if resistivity logs are required from a well that has been drilled with an oil-based mud, traditionally it was necessary to displace the oil-based mud and replace it with a more conductive water-based fluid, an operation that is costly in both time and energy consumption. Use of a conductive organic-phase fluids for both drilling and logging, eliminates the need to displace to a water-based logging fluid and thus reduce the overall energy consumption and environmental impact of the operation. Likewise 'smart' filter cakes that enhance oil production without the need for acid intervention to optimize reservoir productivity will reduce the total number of steps or amount of energy required to extract the oil, thus reducing the environmental impact. Minimize - Source Reduction Better drilling practices and improved wellbore stability. Drilling to the reservoir as efficiently as possible reduces the amount of waste produced (chemicals, rock debris and energy) and helps to reduce the environmental impact of drilling operations34. Washout and eccentric hole can significantly increase the amount of cuttings produced and the subsequent amount of drilling fluid and cement used. A wellbore drilled in-gauge requires less drilling fluid and produces fewer cuttings requiring disposal. Use of a smaller diameter hole and casing also reduces the total volume of waste material produced. Similarly if the wellbore can be stabilized or lined in some way then one or more casing point may be omitted. In all these cases, there is a reduction in time, costs and the total energy required to drill the well. Liquid discharges and waste management. As the drilling waste is transported out of the wellbore by the drilling fluid, a large part of the waste treatment concerns separating the solids from the liquid phase and the subsequent disposal of both the solids and in some cases the liquid effluent. Common problems found with liquid effluents are high salt concentrations or conductivity and a high biological or chemical oxygen demand. Although it is feasible to treat such liquid effluents prior to disposal, as discussed previously, if possible it is best to minimize the amount produced in the first place. Alternate weighting materials also provide opportunities to reduce the amount of drilling fluid discharges and provide much-improved solids removal efficiency. Reducing the environmental effects of saline discharges. On land, the focus of the environmental impact is not always hydrocarbon discharges, which are relatively easy to remediate under the right circumstances, but saline discharges. Chloride contamination of soils and ground waters is cause for concern in many parts of the world and groundwater protection is a significant consideration for drilling operations. When thinking about the environmental effects of saline discharges it also is important to consider the nature of the environment where the drilling operations are being performed. For example, potassium chloride can be used for shale inhibition in the North Sea, but it is toxic to mysid shrimp at high concentrations. Its use is therefore restricted in the Gulf of Mexico where the mysid toxicity test is a regulatory requirement.

Chloride-free water-based fluids. Brady, et al.5 and Reid, et al.6 discuss improvements in organic polyols which have significantly reduced the gap between water-based and oilbased mud performance. Conventional water-based fluids require the addition of salts such as potassium chloride to impart shale inhibition5. As discussed above, the discharge of saline drilling wastes onshore can result in unacceptable contamination of lakes, rivers, groundwater or soil. Current practice in many countries is for the saline liquid to be heavily diluted prior to discharge in order to comply with local consent limits. Brady, et al.5 showed that a polyalkylene glycol, specifically designed for salt-free water-based fluids, provides efficient drilling and reduces the final volume of liquid effluent discharges. On comparative wells the total volume of liquid discharged can be reduced from 172,650 bbls (27448 m3) with a standard KCl PHPA polymer drilling fluid to 5,577 bbls (887 m3) with a salt-free polyalkylene glycol-based fluid. The latter fluid also showed improved drilling performance, reduced mud consumption and reduced treatment costs prior to discharge. Salt-free organic-phase drilling fluids. Hydrocarbon discharges can have a significant environmental impact both on and offshore, but are generally a lot easier to manage onshore and are thus viewed as a smaller problem than saline discharges. From the previous discussion, it can be seen that avoiding the use of chloride-based salts in either water or organic-phase drilling fluids has potentially significant environmental benefits. While previous work has shown that it possible to formulate 100% organic-phase, salt-free drilling fluids,7 in most organic-phase drilling fluids chloride salts are used to provide the water activity level and minimize the osmotic transfer of water to the formations drilled.8 Salt-free organicphase fluids can be expensive and prone to water contamination. Replacing “standard” salts with another “osmotic regulator” used in organic-phase drilling fluids reduces or avoids many of the problems associated with saline discharges. Formate salts have been used successfully in water-based muds9,10 but can have cost disadvantages. Such materials are biodegradable but do not contribute towards alternative uses for the drilling fluid byproducts which is discussed later in the paper. In some parts of the world, nitrates have been successfully used in the formulation of organic-phase drilling fluids and there is anecdotal evidence that the resulting wastes have a beneficial effects on some plants when the cuttings are landfarmed. If these types of drilling wastes are to be used as soil enhancers (rather than just landfarmed) then it is essential that the appropriate nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are present in the correct percentages for good plant growth. Likewise it is important that there are no adverse effects on seed germination and soil invertebrates, etc. Environmental improvements to organic base fluids. The development of better organic-phase drilling fluids has, over the years, reduced the impact of drilling operations on health, safety and the environment.11,12 Table 1 overviews the introduction of organic base fluids of reduced environmental impact over the years 1980 to the present. The acute effects of

SPE 61040

CAN ADVANCES IN DRILLING FLUID DESIGN FURTHER REDUCE THE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF WATER AND ORGANIC-PHASE DRILLING FLUIDS?

3

the fluids on marine organisms has now reached a plateau of very low toxicity.13 The aerobic biodegradation is broadly Anaerobic similar for many of the recent fluids.13 biodegradation is much slower for all of the fluids especially at high concentrations and low temperature14 conditions similar to those found in seabed cuttings piles. Opportunities for further reducing the environmental impact of oil base fluids will likely come from the development of novel organic fluid chemistries. Such fluids combined with alternative treatments for contaminated cuttings and the development of new water-based drilling fluids will reduce the impact of drilled cuttings on the environment, especially if combined with improved solids removal and treatment techniques. This last combination is discussed further on in the paper. Chemical technology has advanced significantly in recent years and many companies are now looking at ways to formulate organic-phase drilling fluids with biodegradable emulsifiers and salts. One objective of this work is to produce a specially designed organic-phase drilling fluid for use on land. Such a fluid will provide all the technical features of a good oil-based mud such as shale inhibition and lubricity, but show positive soil enhancement when spread on the land and be easily and rapidly treated by biological means leaving minimal recalcitrant residues. Careful selection of the hydrocarbon base fluid and to a certain extent the choice of biodegradable emulsifiers is expected to result in a highly biodegradable mud system which can be easily and rapidly landfarmed or degraded in a bioreactor. The use of linear rather than branched or cyclic hydrocarbons is expected to result in much faster treatment rates than diesel base fluids. However, as discussed above it is an added benefit if the byproducts can act as a soil enhancer or agricultural fertilizer. The fluid is currently being evaluated for its impact on soil flora and fauna. Reuse, Recycle and Recover Most oil and synthetic based fluids are reused and although some water based drilling fluids can be reused the biggest obstacle to efficient recycling of WBM is the rapid build up of entrained drilled solids. It is clear that reduced discharges can also be achieved by improved solids-control efficiency.15 Improved separation of drilled solids from the fluid, and fluid from the drilled solids would reduce discharges and mud dilution requirements. Enhanced solids control, apart from reducing the waste volume, will allow more drilling fluid to be recovered in good condition and subsequently re-used. Particle size, density and fluid viscosity. Conventional drilling fluids, solids-removal efficiency and waste management are limited by particle size, density and fluid viscosity. API barite and fine drilled cuttings have broad, overlapping size distributions. This can greatly reduce solids separation efficiency. Less than perfect drilled solids removal is tolerated in order to avoid unacceptable losses of barite, compromising both solids removal efficiency and barite recovery. Poor shale inhibition means softer or disintegrating cuttings at the shaker screens. This results in an increase in the proportion of cuttings that cannot be removed at the shakers on the first pass

through the solids-control equipment. Re-circulation and further attrition of the drilled solids can rapidly increase the level of low-gravity solids in the drilling fluid. This requires a dump-and-dilute approach to maintain drilling fluid properties. Conventional drilling fluids often exhibit high plastic viscosity. This leads to restricted flow rates when reaching pump pressure limit. This can result in inefficient cuttings transport and the formation of cuttings beds. Poor hole cleaning will increase the residence time of cuttings in the wellbore and, in doing so, can exacerbate effects of inadequate shale inhibition and mechanical attrition on the break down of the cuttings. High fluid viscosity can adversely affect the efficiency of shale shakers, hydrocyclones and centrifuges. Hydrocyclone performance can be extremely sensitive to viscosity, with typical median cut sizes of a 3-in. cone,15 changing from 20 to 50 microns as the plastic viscosity increases from 6 to 24 cP. High viscosity can move the cut or separation into the domain of shaker screens making hydrocyclones essentially redundant. Similarly centrifuge performance decreases with increasing plastic viscosity because the particle settling velocity from Stokes law is inversely proportional to the fluid viscosity. Weighting agents and solids control equipment. Many of the centrifuges used offshore are arranged in so called 'barite recovery mode' whereby their primary use is to reclaim barite weight material, rather than separate drill cuttings. Traditional barite recovery, though economically rational, compromises solids separation efficiency, resulting in greater economical and environmental cost. Optimum use of modern hydrocyclones can reduce the cut point down to less than 20 micron. Unfortunately this cut would still include both fine cuttings and conventional weight materials. At the moment full flow centrifugation is available only in limited offshore environments. Weighting agents and waste management. When using traditional weighting agents, the above factors conspire to limit solids-control-removal efficiencies such that there is still considerable discharge of drilling fluid due either to dumping or to fluid adhering to cuttings as they are discharged. However, new forms of colloidal weighting agents based on barite or calcium carbonate appear to offer a real chance of greatly improved solids control and reduced environmental impacts.16 Alternate weight materials. For improved solids control, the weight material needs to be differentiated from the generated drilled cuttings. Two approaches are either the use of solidsfree brine fluids or alternate-sized particulate materials. Brines have several advantages specifically the capacity of enhanced drilled solids separation and the capability to tailor the rheology to match the hole cleaning requirements. However at intermediate and higher brine densities (>12 lb/gal), brines are expensive, corrosive and may cause hole destabilization. Brines also have HSE limitations that can restrict their environmental acceptability. An alternative approach is to change the particle size of the solid weight materials to differentiate them from the generated drilled cuttings. The ability to significantly reduce the particle size, whilst controlling the inter-particle interactions results in a very flexible, low-rheology drilling fluid. This opposes the often quoted statement that fine particle sizes lead to high

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rheology. By tailoring the weighting agent particle size to differentiate from the drilled cuttings, it is also possible to reduce the sedimentation potential and in the correct format provide some semblance of filtration control as well. An example of this concept is a stable colloidal dispersion of particles less than 2 microns in diameter. By reducing the particle size of the weight material the requirement of high rheology to suspend the normal API barite is eliminated. This allows hydraulics simulations to define the required rheology for optimal hole cleaning. Example hydraulic simulations for an 8 ½ in deviated hole, with a narrow ECD window using a 1.78 s.g. fluid, show as expected that the hole cleaning characteristics can change dramatically with the rheological nature of the drilling fluid. Pumping low viscosity Newtonian fluid turbulently can provide good hole cleaning characteristics with the added advantage of a reduced equivalent circulating density. However the use of API barite limits this approach due to its potential to sag and the resulting density variations, restricted pump pressure limits, narrow ECD windows and poor hole cleaning. As can be seen in Table 2, the fluid character of an alternate weight material mud can be adjusted from essentially Newtonian to shear thinning behavior with the addition of up to 2.28Kg/m3 of Xanthan gum. The flexibility in the rheological profile of this type of fluid allows it to be pumped either turbulently or to have elevated low end rheology for hole cleaning in laminar flow. Lower viscosities also translate into lower equivalent circulating density, higher permissible pump rates and improved hole cleaning. Colloidal weight materials can improve solids-control efficiency (SCE) by allowing a more aggressive attitude to the solids separation process at the well site. By utilizing finer shaker screens in conjunction with hydrocyclones, the potential exists for enhanced primary solids control without the concern of preferentially losing weight material as would be the case in conventional-sized materials. The ability to improve the SCE will benefit the drilling performance including improved rates of penetration, reduced lost circulation and surge and swab issues. With these types of new weighting agents, a real reduction in overall discharge and impact is predicted, but only if the solids removal or treatment process is modified to obtain the maximum benefit. Reducing the volumes of unwanted waste generated combined with improved drilling performance and enhancing / maintaining the quality of the drilling fluid so that it can be re-used would significantly reduce the overall environmental impact of drilling fluids. Solids control and waste management. Improved solids control is a key part of reducing the environmental effects of drilling wastes. Improved separation technologies make it possible to remove more fluid from the drill cuttings leaving them drier and with a reduced organic loading. With organicphase fluids, drier cuttings are usually easier to water wet and have better dispersion characteristics when discharged, but more importantly there is better recovery of the drilling fluid which can then be re-used. Solids control efficiency. The enhanced SCE in conjunction with improved tolerance to drilling contamination results in a rheologically more stable water-based fluid. This reduces the amount of dump and dilute. At the end of the

section, good condition water-based fluid is attractive both economically and environmentally for re-use. Additional conditioning of the fluid back on shore with full mud flow through centrifuges should enhance the overall drilled solids separation process. Mud banks. Although organic-phase fluids are currently re-used and reconditioned a number of times, not all waterbased fluids have been worth the expense of reconditioning leading to the practice of "dump and dilute" becoming the norm with most current water-based drilling fluids. The concept of being able to raise the water-based fluid density by extracting the liquid phase allows the mud specialist to manage and maintain a controlled water-based fluid volume in a similar manner to that of OPF’s. This ability may mean that we have the potential to lower the industry's long-term environmental liability on large, worldwide mud bank volumes. Recycling. The recycling (as different from re-use) of drilling wastes and utilization for alternative purposes is a major way to reduce the overall environmental impact of drilling operations. Untreated drilling wastes may be recycled and used for other purposes e.g., fertilizers and soil improvers, or drilling fluid-to-cement type programs. Reuse. Similarly, recovering the maximum amount of valuable materials (either raw materials or energy) from drilling wastes before disposal is also important. This recycling may take the form of recovery of the energy content of the fluid by using it as co-fuel in cement kilns or power stations. Alternate uses for colloidal base materials whether they are “spent” water-based drilling fluids or reconstituted liquid concentrates of high density, include ship ballast, the zonal isolation of contaminated land, or dense media separation. As with all of these potential uses, the aim is to find alternative uses for the drilling byproducts so that they become "valuable" materials that can be put to good use rather than just being dumped in a landfill. Separation, recovery, or finding alternative uses for drilling byproducts can be significantly aided by careful drilling fluid design. Alternative uses for drilling fluid byproducts can be facilitated by the use of different salts for generating the water activity of the fluid to a) reduce the discharge problem associated with saline discharges and b) give the waste value as a fertilizer and soil improver. Likewise the use of highly biodegradable base fluids containing linear paraffins rather than highly branched and cyclic hydrocarbons will favor increased cleanup rates. Treatment to reduce bulk and final disposal Advances in drilling fluid can reduce the volume of waste produced. While it may be possible to find alternative uses for drilling fluids byproducts, it is inevitable that there will be some inert wastes which do not have any immediate economic value and that have to be discarded. Such materials will still require stabilization and consolidation prior to disposal. It is thought likely that some of the materials and techniques discussed in this paper will greatly facilitate the ease with which these materials can be treated both by reduction in volumes and by using materials easier to dispose of. Whether disposal is by discharge to the seabed or cuttings reinjection, less energy will be required for treatment / disposal and a smaller environmental footprint will be required.

SPE 61040

CAN ADVANCES IN DRILLING FLUID DESIGN FURTHER REDUCE THE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF WATER AND ORGANIC-PHASE DRILLING FLUIDS?

5

Conclusions • Reduced operational steps in well construction will result in a reduction of both the total energy budget and the overall environmental impact. • The development of better organic-phase drilling fluids has reduced environmental impacts. Current research suggests that the potential for further improvements in organicliquid base fluids resulting in better biodegradation and lower sediment toxicity is diminishing. • Strategies that make the fluids easier to treat and reduce the amounts of organic materials discharged can make significant decreases in the amounts of drilling fluid wastes generated. • Fluid design can also allow the conversion of the material into a useful byproduct. • New water-based fluid developments can be combined with improved solids removal and treatment techniques to further improve drilling efficiencies and allow both much greater re-use of water-based fluids and reduced drilling fluid and cuttings discharges. Acknowledgements We would like to thank B. Pettersen (MI Stavanger, Norway) for the data contained in Table 2. References 1 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC): Guidelines for Life Cycle Assessment: A “Code of Practice,” SETAC, Brussels (1993). 2 Eduljee, G.H. & Arthur, D.A.: “Solid Waste Management,” in Pollution, Causes, Effects and Control. edited by R.L. Harrison; Royal Society of Chemistry (1996) 340 - 366. 3 Candler, J.E., Rushing, J.H. and Leuterman, A.J.J. "Synthetic-Based Mud Systems Offer Environmental Benefits Over Traditional Mud Systems," SPE 25993 presented at the SPE/EPA Exploration and Production Environmental Conference, San Antonio, March 7-10, 1993. 4 Burke, C.J. and Veil, J.A.: "Potential Environmental Benefits from Regulatory Consideration of Synthetic Drilling Muds," US DOE report ANL/EAD/TM-43 (February 1995). 5 Brady, M.E., Craster, B., Getliff, J.M. and Reid, P.I.: “Highly Inhibitive, Low-Salinity Glycol Water-Base Drilling Fluid For Shale Drilling In Environmentally Sensitive Locations,” SPE 46618 presented at the SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment in the Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, Caracas, Venezuela June 7-10, 1998. 6 Reid, P.I., Elliott, G.P,. Minton, R.C., Chambers, B.D. and Burt D.A.: “Reduced Environmental Impact and Improved Drilling Performance with Water-Based Muds Containing Glycols,” SPE 25989, presented at the SPE/EPA Conference, San Antonio, March 7-10, 1993. 7 Fraser, L.J.: “Field Application of the All-Oil DrillingFluid Concept,” IADC/SPE 19955, presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, Feb 27-Mar 2, 1990 and SPE Drilling Engineering (March 1992) 20. 8 M-I Drilling Fluids Engineering Manual (1998) 4A.22.

9 Howard, S.K.: “Formate Brines for Drilling and Completion: State of the Art,” SPE 30498, presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference, Dallas, Oct 2225,1995. 10 Bungert. D., Maikranz S., Sundermann R., Downs J., Benton W., and Dick, M.A.: “The Evolution and Application of Formate Brines in High-Temperature/HighPressure Operations.” IADC/SPE 59191 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, New Orleans, Feb. 23-25, 2000. 11 Saasen, A., Berntsen, M., Løklingholm, G., Igeltjørn, H. and Åsnes, K.: "The Effect of Drilling Fluid Base Oil Properties on the Occupational Hygiene and the Marine Environment", SPE 61261 presented at the Fifth SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment, Stavanger, Norway, 26-28 June, 2000. 12 Candler, J.E., Rushing, J.H. and Leuterman, A.J.J.: “Synthetic Base Mud Systems Offer Environmental Benefits Over Traditional Mud Systems”, SPE 25993 presented at the PSE/EPA Exploration and Production Environmental Conference, San Antonio, Texas, March 710, 1993. 13 Vik, E. A., Dempsey, S. and Nesgard, B.S.: “OLF Project - Acceptance Criteria for Drilling Fluids: Evaluation of Available Test Results from Environmental Studies of Synthetic Based Drilling Muds,” Aquateam Report 96-010, (1996). 14 Munro, P.D.; Moffat, C.F.; Couper, L.; Brown, N.A,; Croce, B.; Stagg, R.M. “Degradation of Synthetic Mud Base Fluids in a Solid Phase Test System,” Fisheries Research Services Report No 1197, Scottish Office Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department, Marine Laboratory, Victoria Road, Aberdeen (1997). 15 Schlumberger Dowell / Amoco Solids Control Handbook (1998). 16 Getliff, J.M., Bradbury, A.J., Reid, P.I., Brady, M.E. and Sawdon C.A.: “Low Impact Fluid Chemistries - the Outlook,” paper presented at the 7th Annual International IBC Conference on 'Minimizing the Environmental Effects of Drilling Operations', Aberdeen, March 25th, 1999.

Avoid Minimize Recycle and Reuse Treat to reduce bulk Dispose
Fig. 1 - The Waste Management Hierarchy2

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J. M. GETLIFF: A. J. BRADBURY: C.A. SAWDON: J. E. CANDLER AND G. LOCKLINGHOLM

SPE 61040

Table 1 - Evolution of Commercial Organic Base Fluids Date Introduced Type of Base Fluid
Pre 1980 1980 1985-1990's 1989 1992 1993 1995 1995 1996 Diesel oil, crude oil Mineral oils with reduced aromatics Low toxicity mineral oils, aromatic content gradually reducing to zero Ester-based fluids Ethers and acetyl fluids Linear alkyl benzene fluids n-Alkane fluids Linear alpha olefins Internal olefins

Table 2 – Rheological Adjustments with Xanthan Gum
Fluid density 1.78 .s.g., Hot rolled for 16 hours at 250°F Base fluid comprises 11.4 Kg/m3 Starch, 100 KG/m3 KCl, 4% v/v Glycol Fann rpm Gels PV 600 Base 1.14kg/m3 1.72kg/m3 2.28kg/m3 24 44 54 86 300 13 27 34 56 200 10 21 27 44 100 5 13 17 29 60 3 10 12 22 30 2 7 9 15 6 1 3 4 7 3 1 2 3 5 10/10 1/1 3/4 4/6 6/11 11 17 20 30 2 10 14 26 YP

The data set indicates how the rheological profile can be adjusted to match the fluid requirements obtained from hole cleaning simulations.

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