Novel lightweight biopolymer drilling fluid for underbalanced drilling

Lim Symm Nee, Munawar Khalil, Badrul Mohamed Jan, Brahim Si Ali

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This research centres on optimizing the formulation of a water-based lightweight biopolymer drilling fluid using Design Expert for underbalanced drilling (UBD). Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was selected as a viable means to obtain the optimized drilling fluid formulation. Concentrations of four main raw materials (glass bubbles, clay, xanthan gum and starch) were varied in a suitable range to obtain the formulation with the desirable density, plastic viscosity (PV) and yield point (YP) for UBD application. Based on the results, the optimized drilling fluid can be formulated with 24.46% w/v of glass bubbles, 0.63% w/v of clay, 0.21% w/v of xanthan gum and 2.41% w/v of starch. The desirability factor, d for this optimum condition selected is 0.628. The mathematical models generated by RSM were able to predict the three response parameters well, as the experimental values were found to be in good agreement with the predicted values. The error is less than 1.0, standard deviation less than 0.5 and the accuracy is more than 98.5%. All mathematical models were quadratic in nature. The model used to predict the PV has an inverse square root transform. This drilling fluid is considered to be less harmful to the environment as it is water-based and, at the same time, composed of natural polymers (xanthan gum and starch) which are biodegradable. With this novel formulation, we could expect to drill more wells in underbalanced conditions to improve production of oil.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOffshore Technology Conference Asia 2016, OTCA 2016
PublisherOffshore Technology Conference
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781510830721
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventOffshore Technology Conference Asia 2016, OTCA 2016 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 22 Mar 201625 Mar 2016

Publication series

NameOffshore Technology Conference Asia 2016, OTCA 2016


ConferenceOffshore Technology Conference Asia 2016, OTCA 2016
CityKuala Lumpur


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