Fluid Loss Control

Published: January 27, 2020 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Fluid Loss Control Mean?

Fluid loss control can be defined as the process of controlling or reducing the amount of filtrate that passes through the filter medium. It is maintained by viscosity and ultra-low permeability filter cake.

The addition of fluid loss control materials, changing the mud chemistry, or adding a deflocculant to the mud system can help achieve fluid loss control.

Fluid loss can happen during drilling, cementing and completion jobs when the hydrostatic pressure in the hole is higher than formation pressure allowing the liquid phase of the drilling mud to enter the formation.

Trenchlesspedia Explains Fluid Loss Control

When downhole pressure exceeds the breakdown pressure and loss threshold during drilling, there can be a significant amount of fluid loss. Fluid loss and invasion of aqueous phase into the formation can reduce hydrocarbon production and damage matrix permeability. To combat fluid loss into the formation, additives are added into the drilling mud. Natural asphalt or gilsonite has been used in the oil fields as a fluid loss additive.

It fights problems such as borehole instability, provides lubricity to diverted holes, and acts as a bridge to contest differential pressure sticking. Gilsonite products can be used for water-based, oil-based and synthetic-based mud systems.

The additives for fluid loss control also help maintain a constant water/solid ratio in downhole cement slurries to control the rate of water loss to adjacent permeable zones.

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