Accessing the hydrocarbons contained in an oil or gas reservoir requires that a well be drilled to connect the reservoir with the surface and allow the crude fluids to be conveyed to the surface for initial separation and purification. Rotary drilling techniques are used to create the well. A drill bit is mounted on a tubular drill string, which is turned by rotary action. The weight of the drill string on the rotating drill bit is sufficient to grind the rock and allow penetration toward the target.
Drilling muds are required to effectively perform the tasks essential for a successful drilling operation, starting with the need to carry the rock cuttings to the surface and out of the well to prevent the drill-bit from clogging and hindering further drilling progress. But that is just one of many functions the fluids must complete. These include:
- Controlling formation pressure
- Sealing permeable formations
- Suspending cuttings
- Maintaining wellbore stability
- Cooling and lubricating the drill bit
- Minimizing formation damage
- Minimizing environmental impact
AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry offers a full range of surfactant- and polymer-based additives to help customers develop both high-performance and basic oil-based and water-based drilling mud formulations. Our research staff continues to develop novel products that address the key challenges facing the drilling market today.