Lab & Support Services

AES Drilling Fluids positions support services labs near operating areas to test field samples and pilot test solutions, limiting the time necessary to provide results and quickly identify treatment recommendations. Liquid mud plants feature dedicated labs with 24-hour onsite or on-call fluid specialists to perform quality checks as blends are prepared for the field.

New product development, complex troubleshooting and detailed testing are performed at our extensively equipped Houston Support Services lab. Powerful tools including x-ray diffraction (XRD), gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry are present in-house to accelerate response times and provide comprehensive analysis.

These systems aid in not only quality control, but also function as key investigative tools for downhole equipment issues or other complex challenges which may or may not be fluids related. For example, debris may be characterized between formation, fluid components or other solids. Quick answers prevent repeat issues and identify the root cause of problems.

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Testing Equipment

From a basic mud check to a complex investigation, AES is fully resourced with the people and tools necessary for answers. The table below lists select equipment and typical applications. Most equipment works as part of a comprehensive set of tests to solve customer problems, identify solutions, design new products, or perform quality control.

Through the CES Energy Solutions family of companies, we can access additional equipment when conditions require. In-house solutions accelerate response times and preserve confidentiality.

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EquipmentDescriptionCommon Uses
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry + Flame Ionization (GC-MS + FID)Separate compounds and identify them by measuring volatility and matching to known valuesEvaluate a wide range of hydrocarbon products, including invert emulsion fluids, base oils, and emulsifiers
Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA)Controlled sample destruction through heating to characterize molecular weight and moistureIdentify components as they decompose at specific temperatures
Fourier Transform Infrared SpectrophotometerIdentify samples through fingerprint obtain as they absorb or pass infrared radiation Identify samples and confirm product quality
X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)Identify inorganic materials as they diffract/scatter x-rays through the sample's crystalline structureIdentify inorganic manufactured products and downhole formation samples
X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)Detect fluorescent x-rays emitted from samples exposed to a primary x-ray which indicate the presence and quantity of elementsIdentify inorganic manufactured products and downhole formation samples
Gas PycnometerDetermine specific gravity by placing material in a chamber of known volume and filling with gas of known displacementQuality control and identification of samples
MicroscopeIdentify products and materialsAid to determine composition and shape/size of materials
Laser Particle AnalyzerLasers aligned with detectors determine particle size based upon scattering of lightParticle characterization for quality control, bridging and sealing, and wellbore strengthening
High Pressure, High Temperature ViscometerRecord viscosity at high temperatures and pressuresHydraulics modeling