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Development history of water-based drilling fluids in China's oil drilling industry

Sep 20, 2019

During the period of 1920s~1960s, water-based drilling fluid was used. At that time, water-based drilling fluid was rather simple and the main type in this stage was dispersed water-based drilling fluid.

(1) From 1921 to 1922, barite and iron oxide powder were used as weighting materials.
(2) In 1926, bentonite was used as suspending agent.
(3) In 1930, sodium tannate, the earliest mud treatment agent, was developed.
(4) From 1931 to 1937, various mud measuring instruments were developed and the requirements on mud performance control were put forward.
(5) From 1944 to 1945, Na-CMC (carboxymethyl cellulose) was applied as filtrate reducer in drilling fluid.
(6) In 1955, FCLS (ferric chrome lignin sulfonate) was applied as thinner in drilling fluid.
(7) Since the 1960s, a coarse dispersed water-based mud system, such as lime drilling fluid, gypsum drilling fluid, calcium chloride drilling fluid, etc., was widely used.

Over the years, China always lays emphasis on the development of water-based drilling fluid, and water-based drilling fluid has been maturely applied in the Chinese market. So far, the water-based drilling fluid has dominated the market, mainly because its cost is low, its pollution to environment is little and its waste management cost is also low by landfilling or in other ways.