New drilling fluid technology advances exploration

ByThomas L. Elston

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Scientists at Western Australia’s Curtin College have produced new technology for the rapid cleaning and re-use of drilling fluids, paving the way towards a lot more effective and environmentally-pleasant mineral exploration.

Intended to support next-era drilling engineering, the reformulated fluids are hydrocarbon-free of charge, reducing the possibility of environmental harm to exploration web sites.

Supported by the Minerals Investigation Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) and the Deep Exploration Technology CRC, Dr Masood Mostofi and his study group at the WA University of Mines: Minerals, Power and Chemical Engineering at Curtin College formulated the new technologies as component of their ongoing exploration toward automating fluid monitoring and dealing with in the drilling field.

Drillers checking out deep beneath the floor for mineral deposits want specialised fluids to lubricate and awesome the active drill head, and that won’t leak away via cracks and porous rocks all around the drill web page.

“New coiled tubing drilling know-how becoming developed for mineral exploration desires a great deal better volumes of these distinctive fluids than traditional drilling,” Mostofi explained.

“We have developed a process that can meet these fluid requirements in distant places where by geologists could possibly investigate for new mineral deposits, and lowers the threat of releasing fluids that could influence the neighborhood ecosystem.

“Our reformulated drilling fluid removes the use of hydrocarbons, and we have designed a new approach for both equally keeping boreholes secure and rapidly separating rock chips and good supplies from the fluid as it returns to the surface area.

“Working together with associate systems getting produced in the MinEx CRC, this system will assist provide constant samples of the rock materials a drill is slicing by up to 1000m beneath the floor, while allowing the drilling fluid to be competently cleaned and recycled.”


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