Why is it difficult to dehydrate and separate water-based mud from oilfield drilling?

The main factor that is difficult to dehydrate and separate water-based mud for oilfield drilling is the complex nature and many components of hydraulic mud.

The product composition of water-based mud in the drilling process is more complicated. The main components of oilfield drilling mud are multiphase colloids such as water, clay, drill cuttings, flocculants, and drilling fluid additives. Chemical agents such as bentonite, weighting agents, inorganic salts, baseless polymers, organics, synthetic polymers and surfactants are often added in the configuration to improve the performance of water-based muds. Groundwater, drill cuttings, clay, etc. that are collected when drilling into the formation in the oil field. Its pH value is a little alkaline, generally 8.15-9.10, the moisture content is usually between 35% and 90%, and the solid phase particle size is generally between 0.01μm2 and 0.1μm2.

The properties of oilfield drilling mud are related to underground structures and rock properties. As the drilling depth increases, the downhole structure becomes more complicated, and the corresponding mud performance requirements and chemical configuration become more complicated. The corresponding pollutants in the solid waste discharged outside are also increasing, the content and the concentration are also increasing. Therefore, it is difficult to dehydrate and separate the water-based mud in oilfield drilling, and it will affect the quality and progress of the drilling project in severe cases.

KOSUN- China Solids Control Leader&Drilling Waste Management Expert
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