Oil & Gas Product News Logo

Drilling Performance Gets Boost Through Use of New Mud Additive

Selecting a more efficient drilling mud additive can save contractors time and money on a variety of drilling projects.
Selecting a more efficient drilling mud additive can save contractors time and money on a variety of drilling projects.

Company info

940 South Coast Drive, Suite 200
Costa Mesa, CA
US, 92626

Website:
pro-one.us

Read more

7909 Parkwood Circle Drive
Houston, TX
US, 77036

Website:
nov.com

Phone number:
713-375-3994

Read more

For decades, the key focus on drilling mud (including any additives) was on having the mud perform its basic drilling function sufficiently and as cheaply as possible. Yet, just getting in and out of a hole can often be very costly, in both time and money, for well operators.

A new lubricant technology is assisting drillers to change the economics of their operations. XPL+ lubricant features 50 times conventional lubricants’ film strength, according to its manufacturer, ProOne. The fluid treatment bonds to metal, even when dealing with extreme heat and pressure, offering more protection during operations. In addition, it is biodegradable and non-toxic to marine life.

XPL+, which stands for Extreme Pressure Lubricants, with the plus representing a positive charge, differs from other lubricants in several ways. Foremost is a literal attraction to heat and pressure rather than being repelled by both (or essentially migrating away), with its positively charged molecule structure’s strong ionic charge.

Operators typically employ hightech drilling practices and utilize drill bits such as the tri cone ($20,000 to $25,000 each) up to $120,000 PDC bits, along with measurement while drilling (MWD) systems at $170,000-$200,000. As a result of such costs, operators have begun questioning whether saving money on drilling mud is actually a sensible approach. With some lubricants being used at depths of up to 15,000 feet, for example, at approximately $90,000 a day, it costs $112,500 for 1-1/4 days to trip that out. If ProOne XPL+ saves one trip out, that alone would more than pay for the lube.

Anecdotally, one drilling contractor summarizes his company’s decision to change drilling mud additives, saying “we don’t have to trip out due to the loss of motors or have to wash the mud motor. We’re now drilling 6,000-foot laterals – with the same drill bits, same mud motors, same MWD – and we don’t have to trip them out. We had been averaging four to five trips per lateral.”

Increased lubricity, lower friction

The overall scope of benefits include an increase in lubricity, reduced friction by up to 70 percent, enhanced Rate of Penetration (ROP) and reduced torque and drag by a significant 20 to 50 percent. For example, the lubricity increase is not a simple observation but instead a result of using the respected Baroid Lubricity Meter (Metal/Metal).

When operators are engaged in controlled drilling at 250 ROP, for instance, the tendency has been to think a different additive is not necessary because the advantages would not be worth the change-out. To the contrary, as fast as rig personnel may be drilling, they inevitably reach a point where the drill bit or mud motor is lost. In fact, the faster that personnel drill, the more friction or load is exerted on that drill bit, motor and MWD.

The smoother borehole created by XPL+ ensures less vibration, less viscous sweeps, less collapse of wall cake and subsequently less trip out; in other words, it functions as more than just a lubricant by stabilizing the hole.

In field applications, case studies amplify what has moved XPL+ into the next generation of drilling mud additives. It goes well beyond simply a viscous fluid mixture which facilitates drilling of boreholes. Instead, it has become a way to solve a variety of historically vexing drilling challenges besides just helping operators avoid excessive trip outs, low ROP and high torque/drag.

These solutions come from, but are not limited to, capabilities such as allowing rig personnel to: free stuck pipe; greatly reduce hook load; set casing faster; help prevent top drive overheating, chopped and spiralled holes; substantially reduce pump wear; allow liner to slide faster; drill straighter verticals; and drill curves in 50 percent less time.

The product also allows the operator to more effectively deal with long horizontals, deviated wells and doglegs, along with lengthening drill bit life as typically an ongoing major expense.

Kicking mud additive spending up a notch can save drilling operations significant amounts of money in three different ways: minimizing twist-off risk, helping free stuck pipe, and finishing the well.

Or they can save through higher Rate of Penetration (ROP), reduction in trip outs and disposal costs. Even on the low end, operators can reduce costs, saving mud motors and drill bits, drill string repair and hard banding.

Establish ROI quickly

Of course, changing products is not always an easy decision, especially if an operator has been using the same products just because “that’s what we use.” Results from proven field applications show the benefits. In one case study, the operator beat the drill curve by six days.

Overall, the crew was able to build the curve in 20 hours (40 percent quicker than before) and drill from the end of curve (EOC) to TD 25 percent faster than current historical data. This was accomplished with the PDC not hanging up in the curve and utilizing only one bit in the lateral instead of two. Savings spoke for themselves: $11,000 saved on the bit, $36,000 on the trip out and $18,000 through re-use of mud.

One operator drilled through six doglegs and wanted to get weight on the bit. This additive helped free up the torque, get weight on the bit and allowed the bit to stay there longer to keep it from being chipped out as often. This product has helped quite a few rigs drill up to 1,000 feet more.

Another interesting anecdote involves a directional drilling engineer in a scenario which is not uncommon.

He says, “I have to stay within the pay zone and can’t deviate away from that when I hit hard areas which can deviate the drilling pattern.”

XPL+ helped the directional engineer stay focused on his trajectory. Even when hitting hard areas which deviate him to one side, with this additive he could still focus on those areas and not have to create a dogleg due to hard substances in the formation.

In West Texas, a major operator was particularly focused on the notable drop in torque, which experienced a 40 percent reduction, and the increase in ROP. From the weight on bit (WOB) viewpoint, the WOB increased from 25,000 to 32,000 pounds, holding torque to 13,500 footpounds at TD. Additionally, the hook load was reduced from 330,000 pounds to 260,000 pounds, casing was two hours off company record and decreased drag occurred during trip out.

When lubricants are added to drilling mud, that notation is entered on the mud report. However, as a practical matter, the report entry has no relationship to (i.e., does not show) the days with trip outs but is a separate line item in a completely different section on a spreadsheet. Meanwhile, however, the company’s rig overseer is following onscreen what is occurring with his mud engineer, drilling engineer and directional drilling engineer on multiple rigs.

Maybe they typically tripped out every 1,800 or 2,500 feet of drilling. Now they are at 4,500 feet and still have not tripped out. This is a definite positive change that can be brought on by using the right drilling fluid treatment.

More from Drilling & Production

Data acquisition system cuts costs on oil well stimulation services

CAS DataLoggers provided the data acquisition solution for MTS Solutions, an oil field service company headquartered in Bakersfield, California. MTS has been providing well stimulation services in California for over 30 years, maximizing production for clients using both traditional and green products. Data Acquisition Operations Engineer Kevin England explains, "We're a small business 25-man crew, as opposed to a multi-national company, so we needed a cost-effective monitoring solution for our jobs that still had the advanced functionality our customers require."

High HP phase electric motors coupled with pumps provide rapid productivity

Single Phase Power Solutions, the world's only manufacturer of high horsepower single phase electric motors, match their motors to a pump to provide instant productivity.  Available from 30 to 100 HP these single phase pump solutions are easily installed by simply connecting to available single phase utility power - they do not require a phase converter or Variable Frequency Drive (VFD).  The company incorporates their Belle Single-Phase MotorT which uses Written-PoleR technology to power standard suction end centrifugal pumps, rotary gear pumps, and turbine pumps in both horizontal and vertical configurations. These pump solutions are ideal for irrigation, drinking water distribution, well pumps, aquifer management, water treatment, wastewater pumping, wastewater collection, wastewater treatment and discharge, and other water and wastewater processing applications.   With expertise in pump systems design and manufacture, Single Phase Power Solutions team helps determine the correct materials and style of pump to suit specific application requirements.

On/off valves for hazardous areas from CIRCOR

CIRCOR International, a worldwide manufacturer of valves for the power generation, industrial, marine and oil and gas markets for over a century, features high-quality R.G. Laurence on/off control valves for applications demanding rapid opening and sealed closure. ATEX-certified and Factory Mutual-approved R.G. Laurence valves offer reliable performance in high temperature and extreme service conditions.

July rig count up in Canada, but down from 2018: Baker Hughes

Baker Hughes, a GE company announced  that the Baker Hughes international rig count for July 2019 was 1,162, up 24 from the 1,138 counted in June 2019, and up 165 from the 997 counted in July 2018. The international offshore rig count for July 2019 was 255, up 9 from the 246 counted in June 2019, and up 38 from the 217 counted in July 2018.

PSAC forecast update confirms low investor confidence in Canada

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), in its third update to its 2019 Canadian Drilling Activity Forecast, announced that it is decreasing its forecasted number of wells to be drilled (rig released) across Canada for 2019 from 5,300 (May 2019 revision) to 5,100 wells drilled. PSAC based its updated 2019 Forecast on average natural gas prices of $1.60 CDN/Mcf (AECO), crude oil prices of US$57.00/barrel (WTI) and the Canada-US exchange rate averaging $0.76.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Frac Shack Inc. announces successful launch of NG SideKick

Frac Shack Inc.'s newest innovation, the NG SideKick, is the industry's most sophisticated on-pad gas processing unit that takes in field natural gas and processes it down to a safe and usable state for multiple uses on any location. The SideKick depressurizes, heats, and removes liquids and hydrocarbons from field natural gas to ensure the gas is safe and available for use in any natural gas and bi-fuel engine on a hydraulic fracturing location. 

Messer highlights new "Huff 'N Puff" treatment to recharge well stimulation at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference 2019

At URTeC 2019, Messer is highlighting its RECHARGE HNP, or "Huff ‘n Puff," technology, a proven solution for well production enhancement. Ideal for re-stimulating depleted oil and gas wells, the energized RECHARGE HNP treatment combines the proven enhanced recovery properties of carbon dioxide (CO2) or nitrogen (N2) with the latest in advanced nanoparticle technology from Nissan Chemical. URTeC takes place July 22 – 24 in Denver.

ESG successfully completes commercial test of high-temperature, high-pressure downhole microseismic system for hydraulic fracture monitoring

ESG Solutions has recently completed a successful commercial test of its new HOTSHOT downhole microseismic system in the Eagle Ford shale. HOTSHOT represents ESG's latest commitment to acquiring the highest quality microseismic data. The new downhole system was designed specifically for high-temperature, high-pressure operational environments up to 177°C/350°F and 10,000 psi.

Schroedahl high-efficiency self-modulating pump protection valves

SCHROEDAHL, a CIRCOR International brand and an international leader in pump protection and flow control technology, announces that new, self-modulating TDL Automatic Recirculation Valves (ARVs) are now available in more than 35% lighter cast material. These reliable all-in-one pump protection solutions are designed to keep pumping systems in process, firefighting, refinery, power and chemical applications modulating and running smoothly, without cavitation or overheating.

Environmental assessments begin on BHP Canada and Tilt Cove exploration projects

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has commenced federal environmental assessments for the proposed BHP Canada Exploration Drilling Project and the Tilt Cove Exploration Drilling Project. The two projects are located between 300 and 325 kilometres east of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, in the Atlantic Ocean.

Cleansorb ORCA for OBM well treatments increase production and water injectivity

Cleansorb, a provider of patented chemical well treatments that enhance hydrocarbon production for the international oil and gas industry, announced that following a series of successful ORCA for OBM treatments on offshore oil production wells and a water injection well drilled with OBM, increased production and water injectivity have been achieved on behalf of a major operator in the Middle East.

Canadian rigs creeping upwards in weekly count

Baker Hughes Rig Count: U.S. - 6 to 969 rigs

  • U.S. Rig Count is down 6 rigs from last week to 969, with oil rigs down 1 to 788, gas rigs down 5 to 181, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 0.
  • U.S. Rig Count is down 90 rigs from last year's count of 1,059, with oil rigs down 75, gas rigs down 13, and miscellaneous rigs down 2.
  • The U.S. Offshore Rig Count is up 1 rig to 24 and up 4 rigs year-over-year.
Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

NETZSCH showcasing NOTOS multiple screw pumps at 2019 Global Petroleum Show

NETZSCH Pumps North America, LLC, experts in solutions designed specifically for difficult pumping applications, will be highlighting its NOTOS multiple screw pumps at the 2019 Global Petroleum Show (GPS), which will be held June 11-13, 2019, at BMO - Calgary Stampede Park, in Calgary, Canada. Visit Booth #1394 to see the NOTOS, which is ideal for pumping everything from light fuel oil to viscous asphalt. Also to be featured are NEMO full service-in-place (FSIP) progressing cavity pumps and TORNADO rotary lobe pumps.

Siemens enters Permian gas processing market with innovative electric-drive centrifugal compression solution

Siemens was recently awarded a contract to provide three residue compression trains for two, 250 million (500 million total) standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) cryogenic gas plants in the Delaware Basin. The customer, a key producer in the region and long-term user of reciprocating compression equipment, recognized the benefits of centrifugal compression and looked to Siemens for a fully integrated, turnkey solution that includes compressors, motors, variable frequency drives, and associated process equipment.

Wellbore Integrity Solutions, Rhone Capital acquire collection of businesses from Schlumberger

Wellbore Integrity Solutions (WIS), an affiliate of private equity firm Rhône Capital, and Schlumberger  jointly announced that they have entered into an agreement for WIS to acquire the businesses and associated assets of DRILCO, Thomas Tools, and Fishing & Remedial services, along with part of a manufacturing facility located on Rankin Road in Houston, Texas. The transaction is valued at approximately $400 million and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The parties expect to close the transaction by year-end 2019.

Canada sees continuing drop in rig counts for April

Baker Hughes, a GE company announced that the Baker Hughes international rig count for April 2019 was 1,062, up 23 from the 1,039 counted in March 2019, and up 84 from the 978 counted in April 2018. The international offshore rig count for April 2019 was 251, up 4 from the 247 counted in March 2019, and up 57 from the 194 counted in April 2018.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Canadian upstream oil and gas investment shows small increase compared to U.S., study shows

From 2016 to 2018, capital investment in Canada's upstream oil and gas industry (essentially, exploration and production) increased 15 percent compared to 41 percent in the U.S. over the same period, finds a new study released by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

New frac pump from Weir engineered for reliability in harsh operation

At OTC 2019, Weir Oil & Gas introduced its new SPM EXL Frac Pump - engineered from the ground up to be the most durable, longest-lasting 2500 horsepower pump on the market, the company states. With the highest rod load rating in its class at 238,000 pounds, this pump is designed to withstand today's harshest fracking conditions and ease maintenance for operators' field teams.

National Energy Board approves applications to abandon sub-sea pipelines

The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved two applications to abandon the NEB-regulated parts of Exxon Mobil's Sable Offshore Energy Project and Encana Corporation's Deep Panuke Project. These projects, both located offshore Nova Scotia, had reached a stage of naturally declining production. The Sable Offshore Energy Project stopped producing natural gas in December, 2018 and Deep Panuke ceased production in May, 2018.

PSAC cites market access challenges as it cuts 2019 forecast for second time

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC), in its Midyear Update to the 2019 Canadian Oilfield Services Activity Forecast, lowered for a second time its Forecast for the number of wells drilled (rig released) in 2019 across Canada to 5,300 wells - a drop of 1,300 or twenty per cent (20%) from the original Forecast of 6,600 in November 2018.  PSAC has based its updated Forecast on an average natural gas price of C$1.65/mcf (AECO), crude oil price of US$57.00/barrel (WTI), and a U.S.-Canada exchange rate averaging $0.75.

Leucrotta announces successful test rate in upper Montney

Leucrotta Exploration Inc. is pleased to announce the following update: Leucrotta drilled and completed an Upper Montney horizontal multi-frac well at 8-22-81-14W6 ("8-22") in the Mica area of north east British Columbia. The well was considered a major step-out given it was approximately 7.5 miles from the closest producing horizontal Upper Montney well. This well confirms that a large portion of our land base that has previously been delineated as highly productive in the Lower Montney is also highly productive in the Upper Montney, effectively significantly increasing the size of the potential development of the resource.

Oil sands project costs have dropped but pipeline constraints, other factors likely to slow growth

The cost of building and operating oil sands projects has fallen dramatically in recent years and total oil production is expected to rise by another 1 million barrels per day (mbd) by 2030. But external factors—such as price uncertainty caused by pipeline constraints—are contributing to a more moderate pace of production growth than in years past, a new report by business information provider IHS Markit.

Cenovus delivers strong performance through Q1 of 2019

Cenovus Energy Inc. delivered strong operating and financial performance in the first quarter of 2019, generating more than $1 billion of adjusted funds flow, $731 million of free funds flow and cash from operating activities of $436 million. The company's excellent financial results were driven by strong operating performance, a significant narrowing of light-heavy oil price differentials in early 2019 and Cenovus's low-cost structure and continued commitment to capital discipline.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more