Recommendations for evaluation of inhibiting and strengthening (casing) properties of the drilling fluid

UDK: 622.244.442.063
DOI: 10.24887/0028-2448-2019-2-33-38
Key words: inhibiting, argillites, colloidal fraction, Astrakhanskoye gas-condensate field, aggressive factors
Authors: M.M.-R. Gaydarov (Gazprom VNIIGAZ LLC, RF, Moscow), A.A. Khubbatov (Gazprom VNIIGAZ LLC, RF, Moscow), A.M. Gaydarov (Gazprom VNIIGAZ LLC, RF, Moscow), A.D. Norov (Gazprom VNIIGAZ LLC, RF, Moscow), D.V. Khrabrov (Gazprom VNIIGAZ LLC, RF, Moscow), I.A. Potapova (Gazprom VNIIGAZ LLC, RF, Moscow)

Traditional inhibiting drilling fluids show high efficiency in laboratory tests; however they are low effective in field trials. At the present time the choosing of inhibiting fluids is carried out by a multilateral engineering approach. There is a range of parameters that are used to evaluate inhibiting properties viz. swelling, clay capacity, moisture and dispersive capacity, deformation and its residual strength of the core sample, etc. These parameters and all existing methods used for evaluating inhibiting properties are incorrect, that leads to significant differences between laboratory and field test results, revealing theory and practice contradiction. It is believed that the inhibiting properties of drilling fluids help to prevent hydration and swelling of clays and ensure borehole stability. But borehole stability depends on strengthening (casing) properties, not inhibiting.

According to this situation it is recommended to specify inhibiting and strengthening properties, separating their functions. Inhibiting properties are aimed to exclude excess volume of drilling fluid and to maintain its parameters stable by reducing hydrophilicity, hydration, swelling and ability to disperse clay cuttings. Strengthening (casing) properties are aimed to maintain stability of clays and argillites on the walls of the borehole. To define inhibiting properties the authors propose to use the following indicators: concentration of colloidal fraction while drilling in clays; the drilling fluid resistance to various external aggressive factors; the drilling fluid excess volume prepared while drilling in clays. To define strengthening (casing) properties the authors of the article propose to use indicator of moisture capacity of pressed clay samples (applicable to clay rocks with coagulation structural bonds) and indicator of rock destruction (applicable to argillites and clays with phase and transitional structural bonds).

This method was applied to the drilling fluids used on the Astrakhanskoye gas-condensate field: laboratory tests gave close results to the field tests, what confirm the correctness of the method.


1. Kister E.G., Khimicheskaya obrabotka burovykh rastvorov (Chemical treatment of drilling fluids), Moscow: Nedra Publ., 1972, 392 p.

2. Gruntovedenie (Soil science): edited by Trofimov V.T., Korolev V.A., Voznesenskiy E.A. et al., 2005, 1024 p.

3. Gamzatov S.M., The effect of osmotic phenomena on cavern formation (In Russ.), Burenie, 1974, no. 8, pp. 16–18.

4. Angelopulo O.K., Podgornov V.M., Avakov V.E., Burovye rastvory dlya oslozhnennykh usloviy (Drilling fluids for complicated conditions), Moscow: Nedra Publ., 1988, 135 p.

5. Gaydarov M.M.-R., Belʹskiy D.G., Izyumchenko D.V. et al., Ustoychivostʹ glinistykh porod pri stroitelʹstve skvazhin (Resistance of clay rocks during well construction), Moscow: Publ. of Gazprom VNIIGAZ, 2014, 100 p.

6. Vasilʹchenko S.V., Potapov A.G., Gnoevykh A.N., Sovremennye metody issledovaniya problemy neustoychivosti glinistykh porod pri stroitelʹstve skvazhin (Modern methods of studying the problem of instability of clay rocks in the construction of wells), Moscow: Publ. of Gazprom, 1998, 83 p.

7. Gaydarov A.M., Khubbatov A.A., Norov A.D. et al., Polycationic drilling fluids with shale control properties (In Russ.), Vestnik Assotsiatsii burovykh podryadchikov, 2016, no. 1, pp. 36–41

8. Gorodnov V.D., Fiziko-khimicheskie metody preduprezhdeniya oslozhneniy v burenii (Physical and chemical methods for preventing drilling complications), Moscow: Nedra Publ., 1984, 229 p.

To buy the complete text of article (a format - PDF) or to read the material which is in open access only the authorized visitors of the website can. .

Mobile applications

Read our magazine on mobile devices

Загрузить в Google play

Press Releases