Application of Aluminium Oxide Nanoparticles to Enhance Rheological and Filtration Properties of Water Based Muds at HPHT Conditions

Sean Robert Smith, Roozbeh Rafati, Amin Sharifi Haddad, Ashleigh Cooper, Hossein Hamidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


Drilling fluid is of one of the most important elements of any drilling operation, and through ever advancing technologies for deep water and extended reach drillings, enhancement of drilling fluids properties for such harsh conditions need to be investigated. Currently oil based fluids are used in these types of advanced drilling operations, as their performance at high pressure and high temperature conditions, and deviated wells are superior compared to water based fluids. However, the high costs associated with using them, and environmental concerns of such oil base fluids are drawbacks of them at the moment. In this study, we tried to find a solution for such issues through investigation on the potential application of a new nano-enhanced water base
fluid for advanced drilling operations. We analysed the performance of water base drilling fluids that were formulated with two type of nanomaterials (aluminium oxide and silica) at both high and low pressure and temperature conditions (high: up to 120 oC and 500 psi, low: 23 oC and 14.7 psi). The results were compared with a base case drilling fluid with no nanomaterial, and they showed that there is an optimum concentration for aluminium oxide nanoparticles that can be used to improve the rheological and filtration properties of drilling fluids. These results demonstrated that nano-enhanced drilling fluids have an improved thermal stability at heightened temperatures and can withstand the harsh conditions in advanced drilling operations while they impose a lower environmental impact and capital costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-371
Number of pages11
JournalColloids and Surfaces. A, Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Early online date20 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2018


  • drilling fluids
  • aluminium oxide nanoparticles
  • HPHT conditions
  • Rheological properties
  • mud filtrate


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