September 2011, Vol. 66 No. 9

Equipment Spotlight

HDD Drilling Fluids: Equipment Spotlight

Bentonite and polymer drilling fluid systems from Baroid, Cetco, IES Drilling Supply, Kem-Tron, Wyo-Ben, INROCK, M-I SWACO and more.


Baroid Industrial Drilling Products (281) 871-4613,
Aquagel: Premium grade Wyoming sodium bentonite used as viscosifier and filtrate reducer in freshwater drilling fluids. Meets the requirements of API Specification 13A, Section 9. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

Bore-Gel: Specifically blended system using high-yield Wyoming sodium bentonite. When mixed with fresh water, it develops an easy to pump slurry with desirable properties for HDD drilling, pipe jacking lubrication, etc. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

Quik-Gel: Viscosifier and gellant. Easy to mix in fresh water, premium grade, exceptional high-yield Wyoming sodium bentonite. Provides excellent rheological properties. The original “Mud Engineer in the Sack” product. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

CETCO (800) 527-9948,
HYDRAUL-EZ: Specially treated bentonite drilling fluid designed for directional drilling. Suspends cuttings and maintains borehole integrity with very low water loss and strong gel strength. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

SUPER GEL-X: A 200-bbl yield bentonite drilling fluid for maximum viscosity. Multi-purpose drilling gel provides strong wall cake and formation control for all drilling types. Controls filtration rate for borehole stabilization and prevention of fluid loss. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

PREMIUM GEL: API 13A 90-bbl yield bentonite drilling fluid for freshwater drilling.

PUREGOLD GEL: Organic-free and untreated 90-bbl yield high quality bentonite drilling fluid. Industry standard for environmental monitoring well drilling. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

I.E.S. Drilling Supply (800) 388-2906,
Bore-Gel: Specifically blended system using high-yield Wyoming sodium bentonite. When mixed with fresh water, it develops an easy to pump slurry with desirable properties for HDD drilling, pipe jacking lubrication, etc. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

Quik-Gel: Viscosifier and gellant. Easy to mix in fresh water, premium grade, exceptional high-yield Wyoming sodium bentonite. Provides excellent rheological properties. The original “Mud Engineer in the Sack” product. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

INROCK/Drillers Supply (713) 690-5600,
I-GEL: A premium Wyoming Bentonite blended with special additives to produce a viscosifier that provides an excellent multi-purpose drilling fluid. I-GEL provides viscosity, gel strength, hole-cleaning, wall cake and lubricity while remaining pumpable. It is the ideal bentonite for HDD.

X-GEL: A specially blended combination of high yielding bentonite combined with numerous additives to make it an efficient multi-purpose system for HDD applications. X-GEL provides suspension, well-bore stability, filtration control, and helps reduce torque and drag for water based applications. The product is non-toxic and environmentally safe.

M-I SWACO (832) 295-2564,
Maxbore HDD: A one-sack system of premium Wyoming bentonite with additives for reduced fluid loss control and improved lubricating qualities. Designed for gravel and cobble formations where optimum stabilization and suspension are necessary.

Max Gel: A 220+ barrel yield bentonite with low sand content. The original HDD industry standard bentonite product. Its finer grind allows it to mix easier and yield quicker than most other bentonites. Max Gel is NSF approved.

DrillPlex HDD: A specialty product used to enhance Max Gel. When added to bentonite, slurry produces high fragile gels for superior suspension and carrying capacity of sand, gravel and rock cuttings from the borehole. DrillPlex HDD is easy to pump, improves hole stability and reduces chances of loss circulation.

Polymer Drilling Systems (800) 243-7455,
High Yield: Specially modified for HDD or wherever a minimum 200-bbl yield is required. Mixes rapidly for quick hydration and carries cuttings in mud with lower soil content.

Wyo-Ben (406) 652-6351,
Extra High Yield: High yielding, fast mixing gel that performs excellent in a variety of water qualities. Used widely in mineral exploration, water well and HDD.

SW-101: Unique modified sodium bentonite product designed to remain stable in either seawater or salt contaminated environments. It can be mixed in either fresh water or seawater.

Tru-Bore: A complete one-sack 240-bbl/ton yielding material that controls fluid loss to the well bore for maximum borehole stability; pH balanced. For use in drilling difficult horizontal and vertical wells.


Baroid Industrial Drilling Products
Aqua-Clear PFD: A concentrated liquid polymer dispersant. Highly effective mud thinner which contains no phosphates. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

Bio-Bore: A polymer-based system that provides a clay-free, biodegradable drilling fluid in situations where the use of clay-based fluids is restricted.

Diamond Seal: A water-swellable, not water-soluble, 100% crystalline synthetic polymer. Absorbs hundreds of times its weight in water. It is used primarily as a lost circulation material in HDD.

EZ-Mud Plus: A liquid polymer emulsion used as a borehole stabilizing agent to prevent active shale and clay from swelling and sloughing. Can be added to bentonite slurries to improve cuttings carrying capacity and to air foam injection mixtures to upgrade all properties, including foam stability and cuttings carrying capacity.

No-Sag: A free flowing bio-polymer when added to a bentonite based drilling fluid provides increased gel strength, resulting in superior suspension of coarse drill cuttings, sand and gravel. Can be used with fresh or brackish water slurries.

Penetrol: A non-ionic wetting agent designed to counteract the sticking tendencies of clay and reduce or eliminate bit balling. Preferentially coats drill bits, drill string, and reamers to improve drilling efficiency.

Poly-Bore: Soluble fresh water, easy mixing, 100% dry granular polymer that provides a clear solids-free, viscous, clay free, borehole stabilizing fluid for use in all types of trenchless construction applications.

Quik-Trol Gold: Highly-dispersible polyanionic cellulosic (PAC) polymer. Mixes without clumping, even at low shear, and provides exceptional filtration control in bentonite-based fresh water drilling and boring fluids. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified

Quik-Trol Gold LV: Highly-dispersible polyanionic cellulosic (PAC) polymer. Mixes without clumping, even at low shear. Provides exceptional filtration control in bentonite-based drilling and boring fluids with little effect on viscosity. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

System Floc-360: A polymeric flocculent used to settle out clays and shales encountered in drilling operations. Aggressive water/solids separation facilitates recycling or disposal of water-based drilling fluids.

ACCU-LIFT: Specialty additive designed for use with SUPER GEL-X and PREMIUM GEL to substantially increase durable gel strengths for suspension and removal of large cutting, gravel and cobble.

ACCU-VIS: A liquid copolymer designed for fast field mixing, viscosity building, and clay/shale stabilization in aqueous drilling HDD fluids. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

PUREGOLD CLEANDRILL: For drilling operations where clay-based drilling fluids are restricted and a biodegradable drilling fluid is recommended. Industry standard for use in horizontal and vertical remediation wells.

CLAY CUTTER: Is to be used on any size HDD bore. Using CLAY CUTTER will greatly reduce or eliminate clay cuttings from sticking to each other and to the drilling tools. Swelling of the bore will be reduced or eliminated. Rotation and pullback pressures will be significantly reduced.

CLAY CUTTER DRY: Should be added to fresh or saltwater drilling fluids to increase cuttings returns and reduce torque and drag when drilling in reactive clay soils. Eliminates bit-balling and clay rings and can be used in conjunction with other CETCO products such as DRILL-TERGE.

DRILL-TERGE: Liquid solution of nonionic surfactant formulated to increase detergency and wetting properties of drilling fluids. Designed to work in fresh or saltwater to reduce torque and drag.

INSTA-VIS PLUS: Liquid polymer designed to improve drilling efficiency in both horizontal and vertical drilled holes through its rapid field mixing, viscosity development, and clay and shale inhibition. Can be used with VERSAFOAM PLUS to stiffen and can be used in brackish water. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

INSTA-VIS DRY: Highly concentrated granular polymer ideal for sticky and swelling clays and shale. Increases rate of penetration and stabilizes the borehole while improving cohesion in sandy soil. Can be used in saltwater such as tidal conditions.

MACRO-FILL: Granular, super-absorbent solidification and loss circulation material. Rapidly absorbs and retains large volumes of water from aqueous solutions, but only expands 1% in volume.

REL-PAC: Natural cellulosic, granular polymer designed for building a low solids drilling fluid with increased stability. Forms a tight, thin filter cake that reduces fluid loss to the formation.

REL-PAC XTRA-LOW: Will help increase borehole stability by lowering filtrate and fluid loss more effectively than other PAC’s. Aids cleaning by not significantly raising viscosities and impeding flow. Helps control reactive formations by reducing available water and controls unconsolidated formations by reducing whole fluid loss.

SHORE PAC: An easy mixing, water soluble, polymer supplied as a granular powder. SHORE PAC is designed for preparation of viscous earth-reinforcing fluids or slurries for a variety of drilling applications.

SUPER PAC: Multi-purpose liquid polymer designed for minimizing fluid loss to the formation. Enhances properties of bentonite drilling fluids and creates optimum drilling efficiency through filtration control.

SUPER PAC XTRA-LOW: This low viscosity polymer aids in the control of reactive and unconsolidated formations by reducing filtrate and whole fluid loss. SUPER PAC XTRA-LOW assists hole cleaning in HDD work and increases penetration rates in vertical wells by not significantly raising viscosities.

SUPER THIN: Is a highly concentrated additive engineered to reduce drilling fluid viscosity, assist in settling solids. It offers immediate thinning action, reduces gel strength, and is more cost-effective than traditional thinners. NSF/ANSI Standard 60 certified.

SUSPEND-IT: Dry biopolymer used to increase suspension and removal of larger drilling cuttings, gravel and cobble in difficult formations. Enhances gel strength without significantly increasing viscosity.

I.E.S. Drilling Supply
EZ Mud Plus: The most highly concentrated polymer available. One jug of EZ Mud Plus has as much polymer as three jugs of the competition.

Poly Bore: A rapidly dissolving and quick circulating polymer for quick reactions and enhancement of in-process drilling operations.

No Sag: A special additive that quickly increases hole stability while not increasing viscosity. The result of cutting-edge research and development.

Quik Trol: A natural polymer that increases stability and halts borehole expansion in sensitive formations.

INROCK/Drillers Supply
POLY PLUS: A liquid polymer designed to provide cuttings encapsulation, shale stabilization, boost mud viscosity and improve overall mud lubricity. It is a multi-purpose polymer that will improve mud performance and reduce friction. POLY PLUS can be used in mud cleaning systems utilizing makeup waters from fresh to saltwater.

POLY SWELL: A co-polymer that provides excellent results when used as a lost circulation control additive and/or plugging agent. This polymer will expand 200 times its volume in fresh water. This material is environmentally safe and is often used in agricultural applications to retain water. It will plug small and large loss zones.

LIQUID PAC: This drispac polymer that has been proven effective in battling swelling clay and seepage loss. It also helps strengthen the wall-cake and will help prevent caving and sloughing in the hole. Added benefits include improved viscosity and hole-cleaning.

RING FREE: This liquid polymer is a low molecular weight, anionic thinner designed to break down clay swelling, expansion and hydration. It can be used to thin viscous muds, to increase pumpability, or to breakdown problem in-situ clays that are increasing torque and drag. This synthetic additive has a high temperature limit and is not subjected to bacterial degradation.

DUO VIS: DUO VIS xanthan gum is a high molecular weight biopolymer used for increasing rheology in water-based systems. Small quantities provide viscosity and weight material suspension for all water based mud systems. DUO-VIS has the unique ability to produce a fluid that is highly shear thinning while developing a true gel structure.

KEMTRON Technologies (888) 536-8766,
CLAY-KATCH: Very low molecular weight liquid polymer with a high cationic charge. Used for clay inhibition instead of potassium chloride. Lower mud densities can be achieved by causing drill solids to be enmeshed with CLAY-KATCH additions and removed with hydrocyclones and decanter centrifuge liquid – solids separation equipment.

KEM-VIS: Medium molecular weight – anionic polyacrylamide in emulsion form that is specifically developed as a Viscosifier/Friction Reducer additive for water base drilling fluids. KEM-VIS is environmentally safe, contains no alkylphenols and has a category C toxicity classification. Improved hydraulic horsepower by reducing fluid turbulence at high Reynolds numbers, sweeping the cuttings from the hole when drilling with water. Improved viscosity in fresh water based drilling fluids and improved solids separation inside hydrocylones due to “shear thinning” characteristics. Drill solids encapsulation and improved wellbore lubricity – allows for less bentonite consumption and less colloidal solids to provide improved bit penetration rates.

KEM-THIN: Liquid thinner used to control viscosity of drilling fluids in high solids, high viscosity drilling fluids – a sulfonated copolymer in liquid form providing a quick and efficient reduction of viscosity and gel strengths in drilling fluids containing moderate levels of calcium and salts while subjected to high bottom hole temperatures. An environmentally safe antiscalant featuring rapid solubility and better performance – less toxic than traditional dispersants containing heavy metals. Contains no alkylphenols and has a category C toxicity classification. Stable up to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), prevents gel strength ascension in fluids with high calcium, salt and solids content. Excellent deflocculant in Low Solids Non-Dispersed Muds or Inhibitive Lime Muds, improves fluid loss control by improving clay platelet orientation. Does not require supplementary hydroxyl ions for activation.

RHEO-CLAY: provides a high-inverted yield point (YP) – plastic viscosity (PV) ratio for improved rate of penetration, optimum hole cleaning, and greater liquid/solids separation efficiency from hydrocyclones – differs from sodium bentonite (montmorillonite) by having lower cation exchange capacity and greater yield in the presence of high hardness (Ca++ / Mg++) and sodium (Na+) values. Provides smooth wall cake for lubricity and lattice structure for sealing of unconsolidated sandstone formations, improved yield and gel strengths in fresh with high hardness values and improved solids separation inside of hydrocylones due to “shear thinning” characteristics.

POLY KEM D: Dry polymer drilling fluids additive. Excellent borehole properties – can be used to enhance or substitute bentonite properties.

POLY SEAL: Water absorbing polymer sealant for preventing loss of drilling fluids to porous unconsolidated formations or through cracks/crevices. Polymer when pumped down to area of loss circulation quickly settles and seals formation due to its swelling properties – swells to 300 times its volume.

Duo-Vis/Super-Vis: A bio-polymer, when added to a bentonite-based drilling fluid, provides high gel strength, resulting in vastly improved suspension of large drill cuttings, sand and gravel. Duo-Vis/Super-Vis is a drilling specialties product, effective with fresh or brackish make-up water.

Hibtrol HV: A uniquely modified metal-cellulose polymer engineered specifically to maintain a low, stable fluid loss while providing secondary inhibition of reactive shales and a higher viscosity profile. The results are superior wellbore stability, better cuttings integrity, improved solids control and lower drilling costs. Hibtrol HV polymer does this with all the environmental benefits of a water-base mud system.

Platinum Pac: A premium, specially coated PAC designed for easy mixing without fish-eye formation. It provides control and clay swelling inhibition in fresh water systems.

Poly-Plus & Poly-Plus 2000: Both PHPA polymers boost viscosity, lubricity and provide clay inhibition. Poly-Plus 2000 is 52% active and will not separate under any conditions.

Poly-Plus LV: Poly-Plus LV additive is a low molecular weight, medium charge PHPA designed to provide cuttings encapsulation and clay dispersion inhibition. It is designed for use in fluids based on fresh and saline water environments. Poly-Plus LV provides minimal viscosity contribution and can enhance filtration properties. When added to Max Gel or Maxbore HDD, Poly-Plus LV produces and inhibitive drilling fluids system without affecting fluid properties.

Poly-Plus RD: A polymer product that is readily dispersed and designed to provide cuttings encapsulation and clay stabilization. It is formulated for easy mixing with improved dispersion to eliminate “fish eyes.” This is beneficial when rapidly mixing either large quantities or high concentrations of polymer where good mixing equipment is unavailable. Poly-Plus RD also acts as a viscosifier, friction reducer and flocculant. It also provides some fluid-loss control.

Poly-Plus EHV: This PHPA polymer has a higher molecular weight to provide higher viscosity at lower concentrations. It is designed to provide cuttings encapsulation and clay stabilization. Poly-Plus EHV also acts as a viscosifier, friction reducer and flocculant. It also provides some fluid-loss control.

PolyPac R: This polyanionic cellulose is a high-quality, water-soluble polymer designed to control fluid loss and increase viscosity in water-base muds.

Platinum Pac UL: The polyanionic cellulose (PAC) is a high-quality, water-soluble polymer designed to control fluid loss. And, because it is an “Ultra-Low” (UL) additive, it causes minimal increase in viscosity in water-base muds.

Platinum DD: An aqueous blend of surface-active agents, Platinum DD is designed to reduce the surface tension of all water-base mud systems and reduce the sticking tendency of water-sensitive shale cuttings.

Rod Ease: A superior lubricant that reduces torque, corrosion and wear on equipment while increasing ROP and overall rig potential.

Polyswell: Polyswell is a unique crosslinked polymer designed to swell many times its original weight when added to a drilling fluid. Its primary application is for lost circulation.

Ringfree: Ringfree is a low molecular weight liquid polymer designed to thin bentonite based fluids. It also aids in breaking up sticky or swelling clays to help reduce torque and drag.

Flo-Plex: This unique polymer is specially designed to impart lower filtration control for the DrilPlex system.

Polymer Drilling Systems
Super Mud: Liquid polymer emulsion primarily used as a viscosifying agent and as a soil stabilizer to prevent sloughing and/or collapse of a borehole.

Super Mud Dry: Dry granular polymer used as viscosifier and as soil stabilizer to prevent sloughing and/or collapse of bore hole.

Borzan: A true bio-polymer that is highly concentrated to minimize the cost per gallon. Borzan’s gel strengths suspend solids and prevent sticking, reducing loss circulation problems.

Kwik-Vis “D”: A premium PHPA polymer in a dry granular form. Designed to achieve high viscosities in operations of shaft, caisson, horizontal drilling, slurry trenching and in small drill applications.

Uni-Drill: A proprietary liquid polymer designed for use in rotary and HDD operations. Uni-Drill mixes fast and controls fluid loss, preventing the formation clays from swelling.

Wyo-Vis: A high-performance, viscosifying, liquid PHPA polymer. Reduces instances of bit balling, lowers rotary torque and shields swelling borehole clays.

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