Water-based muds typically have higher fluid loss compared to invert emulsion. Quality additives such as our ES-CONTROL and ENERPAC are designed to perform at low concentrations and tolerate a variety of well conditions.
There are numerous additives available for filtration control in water-based muds. They vary by their tolerance to contaminants, the type of mud system, temperature stability, and other factors.
Filtration control mechanisms include physical blocking of pore spaces, inhibition, thickening (viscosity), and deflocculation.
Bentonite (gel) provides a basic level of filtration control; however, many times lower fluid loss is required for deeper sections of the well.
Polymers and starch materials lower fluid loss by plugging pore channels, encapsulating drilled solids, or increasing viscosity. Cellulosic materials, such as polyanionic cellulose (PAC) are common options for water-based muds. AES Drilling Fluids offers ENERPAC R (regular viscosity contribution) and ENERPAC LV (low viscosity contribution).
Starch and starch derivatives enhance filtration control across a wide variety of environments depending on the modification and drilling fluid formulation. Our ES-CONTROL is a cross-linked starch modified for greater tolerance to heat, shear stress, and salinity.
Shale inhibitors, such as synthetic polymers also contribute to fluid loss control. Partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (PHPA) is one of the most common options. It performs as a filtration control additive, shale inhibitor, and viscosifier. (Read more about these products on the Shale Inhibitor page)
Thinners such as lignite and lignosulfonate. reduce fluid loss by deflocculating clay materials and providing fine particles for sealing.
Filtration control additives vary by performance requirements to minimize cost for an application. Contact your AES Drilling Fluids Account Manager to review product details for your application.