Drilling fluids provide many benefits such as cooling and lubricating the drill bit, removing of cuttings, sealing and strengthening the wellbore whilst maintaining hydrostatic pressure to prevent kicks or blowouts. In the competitive fluids market, new technologies have to outperform conventional technologies and more importantly, do so cost-effectively.
In pursuit of drilling the undrillable, and trying to move into untapped horizons, especially in deepwater and unconventional plays, companies are turning to advanced chemistry and material science to bring about new solutions. One company embracing this challenge with nanotechnology is nFluids, a Calgary based start-up. The company’s first multi-functional nanoparticle additive for drilling fluids is believed to form a new standard for the next generation of high-tech drilling fluids. A license agreement was recently signed with a global service company and the latest variant of the technology is being applied in a complicated extended reach well, with results to date showing the following improvements over the wells baseline conditions: