ENHANCEMENT OF GAMBE CLAY USING UN-FERMENTABLE POLYMERS FOR DRILLING MUD FORMULATION
There is availability and large deposits of bentonite (700 million tons in North Eastern part) in Nigeria but the clays had not been abundantly harnessed and enhanced with polymer for drilling fluid formulation because they are mostly composed of calcium montmorillonite. This work was aimed at enhancing Gambe clay using un-fermentable polymers (three carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) with different average molecular weight). The clay was obtained from Gambe town in Adamawa State, Nigeria, beneficiated for quartz removal, as well as enhancement with Na2CO3 (6 wt.%). The mineral and oxides composition of the clay was determined using X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence analyses respectively, and finally used to formulate the drilling fluid. The effect of the polymer on the rheological and physico-chemical properties of the formulated drilling fluid was investigated employing FANN 35SA viscometer. It was found that the carboxy methyl cellulose enhanced the plastic viscosity from 1.5 cP to 34 cP and the apparent viscosity from 2.25 cP to 44 cP. The higher the average molecular weight of the sodium carboxy methyl cellulose the higher the apparent and plastic viscosities of the formulated fluid. Similarly, the resultant viscosities compared well with that of commercial standard of 15 cP and 14 cP of apparent and plastic viscosities respectively. The sets of data generated from this work is going to be very useful for water and oil/gas drilling operations.