It helps provide clear, low-solids fluids that minimize damage to formations. Fluids thickened with HEC are easily damaged by acids, enzymes or oxidizing agents to maximize the potential for hydrocarbon recovery.
In fracturing fluids, HEC acts as a carrier for proppants. These fluids can also be easily broken up by the techniques described above. Drilling fluids formulated by HEC use a low solids concept to provide higher permeability and good wellbore stability.Performance-inhibiting fluids can be used to drill medium-hard rock formations, as well as heaved or exfoliated shales.
In cementing operations, HEC reduces hydraulic friction of the mud and minimizes water loss in the formation.
Hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) is commonly used in the oil drilling industry as a rheology modifier, filtration control agent, and fluid loss control agent. Here are some general guidelines on how to use HEC in oil drilling:
Decide the appropriate concentration: The amount of HEC that you need to use will depend on the type of drilling fluid you are using, as well as the desired viscosity and other properties. A typical concentration of HEC in a drilling fluid is between 0.1% to 2%.
Add HEC to the drilling fluid: HEC is typically added to the drilling fluid as a dry powder or prehydrated solution. It is important to mix HEC thoroughly with the drilling fluid to ensure that it is fully dispersed.
Mix thoroughly: To ensure that the HEC is fully incorporated into the drilling fluid, mix thoroughly for several minutes. Use a high-shear mixer or an agitator to achieve good dispersion.
Test and adjust: After creating your drilling fluid, it is important to test it to ensure that it has the desired properties. If necessary, you can adjust the concentration of HEC or other additives to achieve the desired results.
Monitor drilling conditions: During drilling operations, it is important to monitor the drilling conditions to ensure that the drilling fluid is performing as expected. If necessary, you may need to adjust the concentration of HEC or other additives to maintain optimal performance.
Here are some advantages of using HEC in oil drilling:
HEC can help to control fluid filtration by forming a filter cake on the wellbore wall. This can prevent the loss of drilling fluids into the formation, which can be costly and time-consuming to replace.
HEC can improve the lubricity of drilling fluids, which can reduce friction and wear on drilling tools and equipment.
The use of HEC can help to reduce formation damage during drilling by reducing the amount of fluid that penetrates into the formation.
HEC is a thickener and a rheology modifier, which means it can increase the viscosity and stability of drilling fluids. This can help to prevent fluid loss and maintain hole stability during drilling.
HEC can help to suspend drilling solids and other particles in the drilling fluid, which can improve the efficiency of drilling operations.
HEC can be used in a range of drilling conditions, including high-temperature and high-pressure environments, making it a versatile additive for drilling operations.