Functional characterization on colloidal suspensions containing xanthan gum (XGD) and polyanionic cellulose (PAC) used in drilling fluids for a shale formation

Villada, Yurany
Gallardo, Felipe Eusebio
Erdmann, Eleonora
Casis, Natalia
Olivares, Laura
Estenoz, Diana
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"Drilling fluids are employed in the operation of hydrocarbon exploitation. Two kinds of drilling fluids are commonly used: water based muds and oil based muds. The oil based muds are characterized by their high performance in unconventional reservoirs due to the very low interaction with the reactive formation. Their environmental impact promotes the design of water based muds that present low toxicity. In this paper a water based mud for shale formation with similar rheological characteristics to the oil based mud used in the oil industry of Argentina was designed and the effect of xanthan gum and polyanionic cellulose on the main functional characteristics was studied. Rheometric analysis showed a shear-thinning behavior with notable effect on the concentration of polymers. After dynamic aging test, fluids with composition of PAC=8.00 g/L and XGD =3.00 g/L exhibited rheological properties very close to oil base mud. Structural changes were assessed from optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Particles agglomeration due to the presence of polymers was observed. Furthermore, mud filtration essays allowed to evaluate the performance of PAC as control agent. The Carreau model and statistical analysis were used to determine rheological parameters."