Many drilling operators are currently drilling with water-based polymer, KCL, and Amine systems. Water-Based muds can lead to potential clay swelling due to osmotic differences with fluid migration.
Across Northern Alberta oil plays, including Clearwater, substantial clay levels have created challenges to formation productivity. Drilling these clays with a water base mud can lead to swelling and shale expansion, which results in wellbore damage, losses from pushes in the formation, increased drilling challenges, and potentially an inferior end product. In addition, losing water to formation results in higher water cuts leading to additional water to produce back.
Other mechanisms to note in the Clearwater specifically are emulsion blocking due to Oil/Water contact & surface tensions and poor liftoff due to polymer selection.
Drilling with an oil-based product such as Drillsol Plus® reduces the risk of formation damage and improves inflow oil production. Using a base oil over a water base mud also provides the ability to reuse the base oil throughout multiple drilling programs. Some of the best-producing wells drilled in the Clearwater play are wells that have been drilled with a base oil.
What is Drillsol Plus®?
Drillsol Plus® is a refined base oil product that is circulated down through the drill pipe and outside of the pipe in the annular space between the rock wall. It flows over “shale shakers” to clean the solid cuttings out and is then re-circulated back downhole to reduce clay swelling and wellbore damage.
Drillsol Plus® is an Enerchem-exclusive product and can be custom manufactured for operators in crude oil production.
Drillsol Plus® Drilling Benefits:
Drillsol Plus® drilling fluid is designed to reduce overall drilling costs, minimize environmental concerns, and ultimately increase the well’s production. Drilling into clay soil with an oil base improves the inflow of oil production by up to 50%, allowing wells to pay out faster for a strong return on investment. Here are more examples of how Drillsol Plus® benefits well production:
⦁ Reduces the risk of formation damage,
⦁ Improves rig safety due to having a high flash point,
⦁ Has a relatively low base density that allows options for operators to control hydrostatic pressures in the wellbore.
⦁ Can support increased fluid densities, which prevent gas or oil from coming back out and causing a blow-back while drilling,
⦁ Has a high Analine Point and relatively low aromatic content – aromatics cause swelling and damage to rubber components in the drilling assembly. This promotes extended equipment longevity.
⦁ Refined in the heart of the Clearwater play at Enerchem’s Slave Lake refinery minimizing logistics costs and providing shorter delivery times.
⦁ While oil is lost during drilling, much of it comes back as flush production. This flushed production can either be recycled at Enerchem’s Slave Lake refinery or can be combined with Drillsol Plus® at the rig site to reduce drilling costs over multiple wells.
Working With Enerchem:
Enerchecm has a customer-focused approach and is willing to work with you to meet your needs, including delivering Drillsol Plus® directly to your rig. We will also work with you to blend flush production with Drillsol Plus® base oil to reduce costs for long-term production. Enerchem’s manufacturing facilities are capable of tailoring the properties of the drilling base oil to meet the operator’s specific drilling needs. Enerchem has provided Drillsol Plus® to many satisfied clients drilling in the Clearwater Play over the past four years. Enerchem has also developed a higher viscosity base oil specifically for the Clearwater formation to help reduce the amount of fluid losses while drilling. Innovation and creating custom solutions to help customers succeed is Enerchem’s goal!
Enerchem International Inc. has been in operation, manufacturing hydrocarbon-based fluids, for 30 years in Western Canada. Enerchem is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petrogas Energy Corporation. Petrogas is an indirect subsidiary of AltaGas Ltd. AltaGas is a leading North American energy infrastructure company that connects NGLs and natural gas to domestic and global markets.