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Modeling the effect of KCL inhibition on the rheological properties of shale contaminated water based mud.

Eke, Chibudike E.; Ezenweichu, Chiedu L.


Chiedu L. Ezenweichu


Water based muds are the most extensively used drilling muds. Their use is however limited, especially in shaley formations where it results to various degrees of wellbore instability. In such formations, oil based muds are often utilized due to their possession of superior shale stabilization properties. The recent emphasis on environmental protection, high cost of formulation and disposal after use, amongst other factors however, present huge challenges to the use of oil based muds thereby resulting to a pressing need for the design of water based muds that can be adapted to suit the drilling of such problematic formations. Use of potassium based (i.e. KCl) inhibition has been found to be successful in areas where inhibition is required to limit chemical alteration of shales, the challenge then becomes the development of efficient means of formulating such mud systems. In this paper, experimental data is used to establish the fact that rheological properties of a water based mud (plastic viscosity and yield point) are altered when shaley formation is encountered and use of KCl inhibition can correct this problem as it tends to return the properties to their original values. Furthermore, equations which can be used to predict the changes in rheological properties as shale concentration increases and effect of utilizing inhibition are developed using the obtained data with reasonable accuracy.


EKE, C.E. and EZENWEICHU, C.L. 2015. Modeling the effect of KCL inhibition on the rheological properties of shale contaminated water based mud. Petroleum and coal journal [online], 57(2), pages 194-198. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 20, 2015
Online Publication Date May 20, 2015
Publication Date Apr 30, 2015
Deposit Date May 17, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 17, 2021
Journal Petroleum and coal journal
Print ISSN 1337-7027
Publisher VURUP
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 57
Issue 2
Pages 194-198
Series ISSN 1337-7027
Keywords Shaley formation; Wellbore stability; Inhibition; Rheological properties; Drilling mud
Public URL
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