This new drilling technology advances geotechnics

Researchers from curtin university in Australia have developed a new technology allowing to clean and reuse rapidly drilling fluids. This research work was launched on the initiative of the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) and the Deep Exploration Technology CRC as part of the monitoring of fluids used in the drilling industry. This discovery paves the way for more efficient and greener mining exploration.

Drilling machine on a construction site

Indeed, the formulation of drilling fluids is of paramount importance during a mining. Indeed, these drilling fluids must be able to reduce viscosity mud and the head losses important that occur at high temperature. The next drilling technologies must then be redesigned to be more environmentally friendly.

It front of new ecological constraints, it is necessary to use reformulated hydrocarbon-free fluids to reduce the risk of environmental damage at exploration sites.

Drilling fluids are an environmental hazard

Drillers exploring the depths in search of mineral deposits need specialized fluids to lubricate and cool the active drill head. However, for the Environmental Protectionthey must ensure that these products don’t escape through cracks and porous rocks around the drill site.

Dr. Masood Mostofi noted that recent coiled tubing drilling technologies developed for mineral exploration require much larger volumes of these special fluids than conventional drilling.

A new hydrocarbon-free drilling fluid for greener drilling

Mostofi and his team then developed a reformulated drilling fluid without hydrocarbons, then developed a new method to maintain borehole stability and quickly separate rock chips and solid materials from the fluid as it returns to the surface.

This technique paves the way for exploration of deposits minerals buried even deeper beneath the Earth’s surface. In particular, the researchers hope that this method will make it possible to to provide continuous rock samples up to 1000 m underground while cleaning and recycling the drilling fluid.


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