Drilling/completion fluids

Water-Based Drilling Fluid Helps Control Extreme Conditions in Gas Shale Play

This paper describes a high-density high-pressure/high-temperature brine-based drilling fluid that provides long-term stability and solids-suspension properties for extended periods of time.

Images of HP/HT filter cakes through (a) paper and (b) aloxite disc.
Fig. 1—Images of HP/HT filter cakes through (a) paper and (b) aloxite disc.

A combination of teamwork and fluids technology proved to be the formula for successfully drilling in high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) conditions for an onshore UAE shale gas play. The success achieved in drilling deep [6200-m measured depth (MD)], long-lateral-displacement (2,000‑m) wells with an integrated global operator is a combination dependent on frequent, transparent communication between team members. The environmentally acceptable aqueous drilling fluid delivered a barite sag-free operation in these highly deviated wellbores.


The drilling of unconventional HP/HT wells in the Diyab field can experience difficulty in reaching target depth. One significant challenge is the design of a drilling fluid to manage reservoir pressures and temperatures.

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