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  • Technology using electrophoresis recycles invert-emulsion drilling fluids


    K. McCosh, S. Wood and G. Meeten

    Applying electrophoresis to drilling fluids aids the removal of solids and brine, positively impacting its physical properties by decreasing the density and viscosity with an increase in the relative oil content. This reduces the excessive dilution that can be associated with reconditioning drilling fluids and effectively extends the drilling fluid’s useful life. The waste disposal volumes and associated costs are also reduced. Therefore, this electrophoresis technology meets both operational and environmental goals. After cuttings and fluids are removed from the borehole, a series of solids-control equipment is used to separate the cuttings from the fluid. The treated fluid is returned to the active drilling fluid system and recirculated back down the borehole.1 Since drilling fluids are used to drill multiple wells, fine (<5 µm) Low-Gravity Solids (LGS) build up because they cannot be removed by the separation equipment. Above 2-5% volume, the LGS can generate excessive low- and high-shear-rate viscosities.

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