Invert emulsion or oil-base, drilling fluids are used in drilling troublesome shale formations, water-sensitive production zones, and highly pressured hot formations. Recently, they have been used for penetration rate advantage as well. Invert emulsion fluids contain special surfactants that permit the formation of the water-in-oil emulsion and maintain its stability. These are called simply "emulsifiers".
ARAD Energy offers high-performance oil-based mud emulsifiers with amazing performance and low prices. The internal water phase of the emulsion typically is sodium chloride or calcium chloride brine. Only a small quantity of ARAD’s emulsifier is required for an invert emulsion. Overtreatment with emulsifiers is costly. Undertreatment is even more costly if it results in failure of the emulsion and consequent water-wetting and settling of barite and drilled solids. Heretofore, there has been no procedure for determining the emulsifier content in invert emulsion drilling fluids. Interferences by the oil itself precluded determination.
Now, however, a laboratory procedure has been developed to determine the emulsifier content in a drilling fluid. This new procedure has direct applications both to improving the performance and lowering the maintenance costs of the invert emulsion drilling fluid. Another application is the study of the chemical behavior of invert emulsion drilling fluids under various conditions. it is not known how much emulsifier is lost by coating out on shale and being discarded over the shaker screens. This loss also can be determined using the procedure. Finally, the test procedure is applicable to most manufacturers' invert emulsion drilling fluids since it is based on chemistry common to all invert emulsion drilling fluids.