Drilling Fluid for Oil Exploration

Choose reliability, with Yara, the world leader in nitrates

Yara has more than 100 years expertise in nitrates and nitrogen chemicals. In the 1990’s it developed a specific nitrates based application for the oil & gas sector, under the commercial name PetroCare. Today Yara supplies products for two main applications, combating reservoir souring and in drilling fluids.

Drilling fluid

The selection of a drilling fluid is now more and more linked to the environmental legislation on waste management as well as traditional technical aspects. Disposal of waste drilling fluids and contamination is becoming a primary concern in the United-States. In the USA this issue is regulated at state level, while in Canada it is regulated at federal level. Operators adapt by developing and following Waste minimization, recycling and bioremediation strategies.

Yara’s knowledge of nitrates has allowed it to specifically develop specialty nitrates that can be added to drilling mud (fluid). Primary applications for nitrate today include:

Nelson Vargas
Nelson Vargas
Industrial Sales Manager, North America

Drilling fluids

The selection of an acceptable drilling fluid is now more and more linked to the environmental legislation on waste management as well as traditional technical aspects. Disposal of waste drilling fluids and associated contamination is becoming a primary concern worldwide, for example in the USA this issue is regulated at state level, while in Canada it is regulated at federal level. Operators adapt by developing and following Waste minimization, recycling and bioremediation strategies.

Yara’s knowledge of nitrates has allowed it to specifically develop speciality nitrates that can be added to drilling mud (fluid). Primary applications for nitrate today include:

OBMs & SBMs

PetroCare replaces Calcium Chloride in the internal phase. It provides an environmentally friendly solution and reduces waste management issues and related costs.

Clear brine solution

PetroCare can be used as an inorganic flocculant. This application is linked to reactive clays with a high ROP. The main advantage when using this type of fluid is that bit balling and flowline plugging do not occur. PetroCare contains calcium nitrate, which is classified as a “medium clay inhibitor”. Water resulting from dewatering process can be used as a base for preparing other mud systems.

Fracturating fluids

PetroCare acts as an inhibitor of Sulphate-reducing bacteria during fracturing processes. Speciality nitrates are added in addition to biocide products. Biocide is included to protect Guar Gum and reduce biofilms.

Corin fluid tracer

To determine the presence and extent of possible damage of core samples by invasion of the mud or filtrate from the mud.

Liquid and solid waste where Petrocare

Liquid and solid waste where Petrocare has been used can offer a greener solution for waste disposal. For many years Canada has used bioremediation (land spreading). By using Calcium nitrate in place of calcium chloride this offers several advantages:

  • Lower acreage required to spread same volume of waste
  • Nitrate acts to biodegrade any oil left on cuttings and enrich the soil. Saves need to add additional nutrients to remineralize soil.

More recently it has been found that nitrates can stimulate bio-reactors used to process waste materials and therefore give a higher output from the process. (New bioremediation processes)

The above applications have been used by clients in Canada and in several US states such as Colorado, as well as in New Zealand.

Oil reservoir souring

Combat oil reservoir souring

Yara markets Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) reduction solutions for the oil industry in pipelines and reservoirs for souring prevention and mitigation treatment and to fight corrosion. Workers in this industry are exposed to the dangers of hydrogen sulfide. Independent academic reports, lab and field test promote nitrates to reduce hydrogen sulfide formation and help improve work safety. PetroCare is applied primarily into seawater injectors on the oil field. This is an environmentally friendly solution in comparison with alternatives.

Prevent the formation of H₂S, through stimulation of a natural processes

Reservoir souring results when water injection is used for secondary oil recovery, especially in offshore installations where sulfate-rich seawater is used. The lack of oxygen, warm temperatures and the presence of sulfate, stimulates naturally-occurring microbes which then produce toxic hydrogen sulfide (H₂S). Sulfide gases, especially H₂S, are dangerous for humans, materials and the environment. This action leads sweet oil to sour. Sour oil has a lower market value and the presence of H₂S gas at the producer can lead to material damage(MIC corrosion), restrict production rates and lead to serious occupational health issues.

An environmentally friendly solution

PetroCare is dosed into the injected seawater in small concentrations and this promotes the microbes to generate harmless nitrogen gas - rather than harmful sulphide which is produced when the sour conditions prevail. Speciality nitrates change the bacterial environment, so that they no longer produce sulphide gases. Nitrate is a natural substance present in soil, where it is a major nutrient for plants. Yara’s nitrate-based technology is, therefore, a natural, environmentally friendly way to eliminate the problems caused by H₂S.

PetroCare is a proven technology against reservoir souring

PetroCare is used worldwide and has been chosen by a number of oil companies as their main souring mitigation strategy for oil fields in the North Sea, Latin America, the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of West Africa, Russia and the Far East. Published case reports show that where nitrate is applied correctly it can provide a good preventative/ mitigation strategy for H₂S generation and for souring control.

Supply reliability from the world’s largest nitrates producer

Operators rely on continuous supplies in order to avoid disruption of their wells. Any stoppage can be extremely expensive.

Yara’s position as the world’s largest nitrates manufacturer and its worldwide logistics footprint of over 200 terminals and warehouses ensures you a reliable supply of the Petrocare you need, where and when you need it.

This is why the world’s most reliable oil service companies have already chosen our product for drilling fluids and reservoir souring prevention.

Yara’s Petrocare Drilling fluid for oil exploration solution can be shipped around the world dry or in a liquid form. In IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers), Flexiliners, Containers , ISO tanks of ship hulls.