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Laboratory and Workshop Design

Laboratory 2: API Fluid Loss and Chemical Analysis

Lecturer: Ms. Nicole Ramcharan

Name: Clint Patrick

Student ID#: 75738

Date: 19/09/2017
TITLE: Laboratory 2: API Fluid Loss and Chemical Analysis


This lab firstly determined the filtration behaviour and wall-cake-building quality of
drilling mud at low pressure as well as temperature. As the time increased, the fluid loss also
increased since more and more filtrate came out due to the pressure in the filter press. The
hydraulic resistance of the cake was found to be pressure independent, indicating that
incompressible cakes were formed under the pressure conditions examined. Secondly, the mud
chemistry of the drilling fluid and filtrate was determined, in other words, the chemical analysis
was tested. In this, the various volumes of chemicals used was calculated. Due to alkalinity and
pH, one chemical mixed with another or more than one caused a colour change, but the adding of
another chemical in some cases turned the solution back to its initial colour or even colourless.
The discussion will talk more about the colour change.


To determine the filtration behaviour and wall-cake-building characteristics of drilling mud at

low temperature and pressure and to determine the mud chemistry of the drilling fluid and

Drilling fluid is used to support the drilling of boreholes into the earth. This is often used while
drilling oil and natural gas wells and on exploration drilling rigs, drilling fluids are also used for
much simpler boreholes, such as water wells. Liquid drilling fluid is often called drilling mud. In
this experiment, water based drilling fluid was used. Static cake filtration measurements of both
filtrate volume out-flow and cake thickness kinetics show the familiar time dependence. In
addition, the hydraulic resistance of the cake was found to be pressure independent, indicating
that incompressible cakes were formed under the pressure conditions examined. When cross-
flow is applied, the filter cake tends towards a reduced limiting thickness but surprisingly the
corresponding filtration rate or flux is observed to decrease. Direct in situ observations of the
cake deposition process clearly reveal the mechanisms controlling particle capture at the surface
and this effect, together with a particle deposition model where the packing within the filter cake
is cross-flow dependent, is used to successfully describe the observed experimental behaviour.
Drilling mud filtrate is the liquid that passes through a filter cake from a slurry held against the
filter medium driven by filter pressure. Static or dynamic filtration can produce filtrate.

PROCEDURE: As per lab manual.

Table 1: Estimation of Hydroxide (OH), Carbonate (CO32) & Bicarbonate (HCO3)
ions for 9ppg and 13ppg mud titrate)

Test Results Calculation, Concentration Inference

Pf = 0 Mf x 1220 = mg/L HC3 Bicarbonate ion only
1.4 x 1220 =1708mg/ L HC3
1.5(1220)=1830 mg/ L HC3
P f = Mf Pf x 340 = mg/L OH- Hydroxide ion only
0.1(340) = 34 mg/L O
0.2(340) = 68 mg/L O
2Pf < Mf 2Pf x 600 = mg/L CO32 Carbonate ion
2(0.1)(600)= 120 mg/L CO32
2(0.2)(600) =240 mg/L CO32
(Mf 2Pf) x 1220 = mg/L HCO3 Bicarbonate ion
(1.5-0.4)(1220) =
2Pf = Mf Mf x 600 = mg/L CO32 Carbonate ion only
1.4(600) = 840 mg/LCO32
1.5(600) = 900 mg/LCO32
2Pf > Mf (2Pf Mf) x 340 = mg/LO Hydroxide ion
-408 mg/LO
-374 mg/LO
(Mf Pf) x 1200 = mg/L CO32 Carbonate ion
(1.4-0.1)(1200) = 1560 mg/L
(1.5-1.2)(1200) = 1560mg/L

Estimated lime content, pounds per barrel (ppb) = 0.26 X (Pm FwPf)
=0.26 (1.6-0.98(0.1)= 0.391ppb for 9ppg
=0.26(0.5-0.98(0.2)=0.079ppb for 13ppg

Where Fw = volume fraction of water in the drilling fluid

= Vw
Vw = the volume fraction expressed as a % of water in the drilling fluid
Using water content as 98%

c[C ] = 1000 x (Vsn / Vf )

=1000(0.1/1.0)=100mg/L for 13ppg
and =1000(0.3/1.0)=300mg/L for 9ppg
Where Vsn = the volume of silver nitrate solution, ml
Vf = the volume of filtrate sample, ml

Total Hardness as Calcium, mg/l = 400 x (VVHT / Vs)

= 400(1.0/1.0)= 400mg/l for 13ppg
= 400(0.1/1.0)=40mg/l for 9ppg
Where VVHT = volume of VHT solution, mg/l
Vs = volume of sample, ml

Filtration is a fundamental unit operation aimed at the separation of suspended solid particles
from a process fluid stream by passing the suspension through a porous substance referred to as a
filter medium. In forcing the fluid through the voids of the filter medium, the liquid phase flows,
but solid particles are retained on the surface and in the medium's pores. The fluid discharging
from the medium is called filtrate.
The estimation of filtration properties under borehole conditions is particularly important during
well drilling as it ensures fewer drilling problems and improved productivity. The fundamental
concepts of drilling fluids filtration and associated problems such as formation damage are
discussed in this chapter. The residue deposited on a permeable medium when slurry, such as
drilling fluid, is forced against the medium under a pressure. Filtrate is the liquid that passes
through the medium, leaving the cake on the medium. If drilling fluid has good fluid loss
property, it will show a thin and impermeable mud cake. Please keep in mind that this test is
based on the surface condition, and it may be in error because it does not simulate down hole
conditions. The API fluid loss test can lead you to the wrong conclusion, because at the surface
condition the test demonstrates very good fluid loss and a very thin filter cake. When the drilling
mud is in a down hole condition, wellbore temperature and pressure can dramatically change
drilling fluid properties. The best way to test the fluid loss is to simulate wellbore condition at
high pressure high temperature in order to see what the fluid loss property will be. The procedure
is called HTHP Fluid Loss.
0.1ml of sulphuric acid was used to titrate in the filtrate alkalinity which gave a of 0.1.
1.4ml of sulphuric acid was used to titrate in the whole mud alkalinity which gave an of 1.4.
Alkalinity is a property which determines the amount of lime in mud. The mud is titrated to
determine the total amount of lime, soluble and insoluble, in the system.
The phenolphthalein alkalinity refers to the amount of acid required to reduce the pH to 8.3, the
phenolphthalein endpoint. The phenolphthalein alkalinity of the mud and mud filtrate is called
the Pm and Pf.
H+ + OH- = H2O
H+ + CO32- = HCO3-
In the calcium test, purple turned to blue. 0.1ml of the VHT Solution was used to titrate this
solution. In the chloride test, the solution turned light pink with the first drop of phenolphthalein
and dark pink with another drop. 0.4ml of silver nitrate was used to titrate this. Salt can enter and
contaminate the mud system when salt formations are drilled and when saline formation water
enters the wellbore. The chloride concentration is determined by titration with silver nitrate
solution. This causes the chloride to be removed from the solution as AgCl, a white precipitate.
Ag+ + Cl- = AgCl
The endpoint of the titration is detected using a potassium chromate indicator. The excess Ag+
present after all Cl- has been removed from solution reacts with the chromate to from Ag2CrO4,
an orange-red precipitate. A 0.0282 N AgNO3 concentration usually is used for the titration. 5
drops of potassium chromate turned the solution light yellow, 0.2ml turned it yellow-orange and
0.3ml turned it light orange.
Methylene Blue Test (MBT) or Cation Exchange Capacity is used to determine the amount of
reactive clay (clay-like materials) in water base mud. A methylene blue dye (a cation dye) is
utilized for this test because it powerfully magnetizes the negative ions in the clay. Typically, the
test is reported in terms of the reactive clay concentration in pounds per barrel, bentonite
Pf stands for the phenolphthalein alkalinity of mud filtrate. Pf is different from the Pm because it
tests the affect of only dissolved bases and salts. However, Pm includes the effect of both
dissolved and non-dissolved bases and salts in drilling mud. Mf stands for the methyl orange
alkalinity end point of mud filtrate


The filtration behaviour and wall-cake-building characteristics of drilling mud at low

temperature and pressure was successfully determined as recorded in the results above. The mud
chemistry of the drilling fluid and filtrate was also found as shown in the results as well as
information was given in the discussion.

methylene blue test

Chloride, Alkalinity and Water Hardness Test Kit
calcium test

Drilling mud
The Editors of Encyclopdia Britannica -
mud filtrate

API and HTHP Fluid Loss