Performance Evaluation of Local Cassava Starch Flour as a Secondary Viscosifier and Fluid Loss Agent in Water Based Drilling Mud

  • Ohenewaa Kakra Dankwa University of Mines and Technology (UMaT)
  • P. Opoku Appau
  • M. Tampuri
Keywords: Bentonite, Drilling fluid, Fluid loss, Local cassava starch, Rheological properties, Water Based Mud (WBM), Viscosifier.


The success of any rotary drilling process depends on the type of drilling fluid (drilling mud) selected to achieve a particular task. The main function of drilling mud is to remove cuttings during drilling process. Viscosity is by far, one of the most needed property of drilling fluid. The viscosity property of the mud helps in well cleaning and also aid in the suspension of drilling cuttings when fluid circulation is put on hold. It is important to monitor continuously and adjust the viscosity of the drilling fluid. Series of investigations have been carried out to discover less expensive and high performance viscosifiers. Cassava starch flour with bentonite in controlling viscosity and fluid loss in water-based mud (WBM) was investigated in this study. Various mud samples were formulated consisting of different masses of cassava starch flour (2 g, 4 g, 6 g and 8 g) and an additional one being the control (without cassava starch flour). Fluid loss and rheological tests were carried out to determine plastic viscosity, yield point, gel strength, etc. Results from this investigation showed that, high amount of cassava starch flour in WBM increased the viscosity of the mud due to its swelling ability. However, 10 minutes gel strength for 6 g and 8 g of cassava starch flour at temperature of 80 ℃ deviated from API standard. Cassava starch flour concentration of 2 g recorded a filter cake of 2 mm whiles that of 4 g, 6 g, and 8 g gave 3 mm thickness. Also, introduction of cassava starch flour into the mud samples from concentrations of 2 g to 8 g reduced the fluid loss by 8 %. Based on the analyses, cassava starch flour has the potential to improve viscosity and also control fluid loss in water based drilling mud.

Author Biography

Ohenewaa Kakra Dankwa, University of Mines and Technology (UMaT)

Petroleum Engineering Department



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