What Does Polymer Drilling Fluid Mean?
Polymer drilling fluid or polymer fluid is a type of drilling fluid used to drill through reactive formations where shale inhibition is a prime concern. Frequently used shale inhibitors are salts, glycols, and amines which are not compatible with bentonite.
Potassium chloride is a shale inhibitor that is inexpensive and highly effective and is used extensively as the base for polymer drilling fluids. Glycol and amine-based inhibitors can be added for further enhancing the inhibitive properties of the drilling fluid.
Trenchlesspedia Explains Polymer Drilling Fluid
Polymers are added in drilling muds to design drilling fluids for specific drilling conditions, even allowing for complete replacement of clay with polymer when drilling through formations with water-sensitive shales, and in water-producing zones. Polymers can act as surfactants, foaming agents, deflocculants, lubricants, corrosion inhibitors, viscosifiers, filtration control agents, etc.
Organic polymers used in drilling fluid can be classified as naturally occurring, such as starches and guar gum, those produced by natural processes in a controlled environment such as xanthan gum and XCD, semi-synthetic such as derivatives of starches and gums, and sodium carboxymethylcellulose, and purely synthetic petrochemical derivatives such as polyacrylates and ethylene oxide polymers.