Filtration Control – Water-Based Mud Additives

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.

Additives for a Full Array of  Water-Based Mud Systems

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.

Fluid Loss Control Options

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.

Select Filtration Control Additives from AES Drilling Fluids

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.

ProductDescriptionProduct Data SheetAssociated Fluid System(s)
ENERPAC LVPolyanionic cellulose - low viscosity filtration control additiveENERPAC LV Product BulletinGeneral WBM
ENERPAC RPolyanionic cellulose - regular viscosity filtration control additiveENERPAC R Product BulletinGeneral WBM
ES-CONTROLModified starch fluid loss additiveES-CONTROL Product BulletinGeneral WBM
LigniteThinner/deflocculant filtration control additiveN/AGeneral WBM
LignosulfonateThinner/deflocculant filtration control additiveN/AGeneral WBM
MICRO SEELChemically altered bitumenMICRO SEEL Product BulletinGeneral WBM

Water-Based Mud Additives

Corrosion Inhibitors & Scavengers
Filtration Control
Shale Inhibitors
Loss Prevention & Treatment

Invert Emulsion Additives

Emulsifiers, wetting agents & dispersants
filtration control
loss prevention & treatment