Few days back, I took this clay and drilling mud project and finally I successfully completed the research project and it was entitled “Enhancement and Improvement of Local Clays in Uyo Local Government Area (LGA) for Drilling Mud Formulation.”
Own Image: Clay Samples Preparation
In order to minimize the rate by which Nigeria oil and gas companies import foreign bentonite for the purpose of successful drilling of wells, for oil and gas extractions, local clays were taken from Afaha Oku and Efiat Offot. These local clays were used in formulating two different drilling muds.
The locations (Afaha Oku and Efiat Offot) were local clays were being obtained from are both villages in Uyo Local Government Area (L.G.A). On the other hand, Uyo LGA is one of the Local Government Areas and the capital of Akwa Ibom State. The city is vast with a land space of about one hundred and forty square miles. According to Wikipedia, Akwa Ibom is situated in the coastal southern part of Nigeria.
The properties of the local clays such as density, filtrate volume and ph were experimentally determined. In furtherance, the properties of the local clay muds were being tested for suitability via comparing their properties with those of the standard American Petroleum Institute (API) bentonite.
Now, from the comparison, it was crystal clear that the local clays were not fitting for drilling fluid formulation in their naturally occurrence state, as they were found to possess very low and bad gel strength, plastic viscosity, yield point and apparent viscosity (rheological properties) as well as other properties such as pH and density.
This is due to the fact that the Afaha Oku and Efiat Offot clays lacked the capacity to swell as there was no attraction between the clay and water in the formulated drilling fluid. More so, this scenario with the formulated drilling mud using the local clays could also be attributed to the low presence of sodium cations in the local clay deposits.
Own Image: Filter Press Set-up for Filtrate Volume Measurement
However, in Petroleum Engineering, the process of making a low-quality clay to improve in its properties and performance as pertaining to drilling mud formulation is termed “beneficiation”. In all cases, beneficiation is done by the addition of relevant chemicals and additives. In this case, the Afaha Oku and Efiat Offot clays (local clays) were being beneficiated by the addition of barite, carboxyl methylcellulose and soda ash in considerable concentrations to the local clays.
Worthy of note is that upon beneficiation at a concentration of 42.9g carboxyl methylcellulose, 10g soda ash and 10g barite to 350mL of the local clays, the yield point, apparent viscosity and plastic viscosity of the Efiat Offot clay mud improved drastically. Also, the yield point, plastic viscosity and apparent viscosity of Afaha Oku clay mud increased in their respective percentages. The pH of the local muds also increased at a concentration of 10g of soda ash to 350mL of the local clay mud. Furthermore, the results for the filtrate volume revealed that the Efiat Offot and Afaha Oku mud improved at large percentages. Therefore, the local clays showed good properties when compared with bentonite upon beneficiation. This then implies that there are chances of formulating a good drilling mud from the obtained local clays.
Results of the research work and their discussions will be published in my subsequent posts. I hope you check back!!
[ENHANCING THE PERFORMANCE OF UBAKALA CLAY FOR USE AS DRILLING MUD.](http://futospace.futo.edu.ng/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/1445/Igwe.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y)
[Formulation of water-based drilling fluid using local materials](https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292877234_Formulation_of_waterbased_drilling_fluid_using_local_materials)
[Properties and application of Nigerian bentonite clay deposits for drilling mud formulation: Recent advances and future prospects](http://jsaer.com/download/vol-5-iss-3-2018/JSAER2018-05-03-359-365.pdf)
[EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LOCAL CLAY FROM EBONYI STATE, NIGERIA AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR BENTONITE IN DRILLING FLUIDS](https://www.eajournals.org/wp-content/uploads/Evaluation-of-the-Effectiveness-of-Local-Clay-from-Ebonyi-State-Nigeria-as-a-Substitute-for-Bentonite-in-Drilling-Fluids.pdf)