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Orbolite in Oilfields


ORBOLITE® cenospheres with a low density of 0.85g/cc and being non-porous with good strength has been used to pump its applied formulation and mix to a depth of 2,000 metres or under pressure up to 6,000 PSI.  ORBOLITE® can replace the cement weight from an average of 60% but often is used in higher ratios.

Maximising oilfield production

An increase in world energy demand forces oil and gas companies to drill deeper in order to produce more oil and gas. This requires drilling layers with various characteristics and results in drilling problems as drilling progresses. Lost circulation and stuck pipes are the most common drilling problems, which are always challenging. Mechanical pipe sticking is likely to occur after complete loss. Time that is spent dealing with such problems is called non-productive time. It is also defined as time during which drilling is ceased or the penetration rate is very low. This definition includes consequences of lost circulation. Lost circulation is likely to take place throughout drilling operations and even during primary cementing due to direct contact of the drilling fluid with the formation along with severe pressure pulses due to pipe movement or onset of circulation after connection, which sometimes goes over hundreds of psi. Lost circulation results in a loss of money, especially when severe losses are experienced.

Mud loss

Partial mud loss, or even complete mud loss, can occur in low fluxes, which can lead to well blowout or severe pipe sticking. Freeing the pipes may involve a week or even more time from the rig. Thus, accurate information on returned fluid and recording mud loss rate can help prevent drilling problems.

A recent solution to dealing with lost circulation is an underbalanced drilling technique, although this is not applicable in some countries due to lack of technology or great expenses. Thus, prediction of loss severity can bring the opportunity of decision making true for adjusting drilling fluid content and operational parameters. Several factors while drilling will govern how severe mud loss would occur. These make analytical modelling of lost circulation complicated. Employing artificial intelligence can be a leeway with proven capability and accuracy. In this article, the operational parameters in a Middle Eastern oilfield are used for prediction of the mud loss severity along different sectors of the oilfield. Cross-validation showed fairly good compatibility with reality.

Prospecting for gas/oil

Off-shore prospecting whether it is for gas or oil, face similar problems just by the nature of their setting. If they are to be located on or at relatively new or young geological formations or weak off-shore formations, fracturing may occur due to the weight of the newly introduced cement and the displaced mud. If this does occur it becomes necessary to introduce very low density cementing slurries. The need to produce low density high in strength cement slurries is perfect for the introduction of ORBOLITE® cenospheres.

In Brief

Benefits of ORBOLITE® in refractory bricks

  • Ease of moulding
  • More consistence less likely to broken or compressed
  • Blending made easier
  • Brick overall finish cleaner, better shape
  • Easier to work with in all areas
  • Reduces overall costs

ORBOLITE® recommend grade… Org 300 grade / Orb 500 grade

Benefits of ORBOLITE® in gunning applications

  • Spheres create fluidity with dry lubrication
  • Add a fire proofing possibility.
  • Reduces sagging in many areas where deep applications need to be applied.
  • Bulks out to approx. 40%
  • Easier to work with in all areas
  • Reduces overall cost

ORBOLITE® recommended grade…Orb 180 grade. Orb 300 grade. Orb 500 grade depending on the application

Usage examples: Metal casting/ Lining or furnace bricks/ Asbestos alternative/ Thermal insulating concrete/ Gunning concretes