A field application of nanoparticle-based invert emulsion drilling fluids

  • Alexey S. Borisov
  • Maen HuseinEmail author
  • Geir Hareland
Research Paper


Application of nanotechnology in drilling fluids for the oil and gas industry has been a focus of several recent studies. A process for the in situ synthesis of nanoparticles (NPs) into drilling fluids has been developed previously in our group and showed that calcium-based NPs (CNPs) and iron-based NPs (INPs), respectively, with concentrations of 0.5–2.0 wt% can dramatically improve filtration properties of commercial drilling fluids in a laboratory environment. In this work, a modified process for the emulsion-based synthesis of NPs on a 20 m3 volume and its subsequent full-scale field testing are presented. Comparison between NP carrier fluids prepared under controlled environment in the laboratory and those prepared on a large scale in a mixing facility revealed very little variation in the main characteristics of the drilling fluid; including the size of the solid constituents. Transmission electron microscopy photographs suggest an average CNP particle size in the carrier fluid of 51 ± 11 nm. Results from the full-scale field test showed that total mud losses while drilling with CNP-based invert emulsion were on average 27 % lower than in the case of conventional fluids. This loss prevention falls within the range observed in the laboratory.

Graphical Abstract


Nanoparticles Drilling fluid Invert emulsion Field application Oil and gas Colloids 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexey S. Borisov
    • 1
  • Maen Husein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Geir Hareland
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemical & Petroleum EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

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