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Mica Flakes

 
MICA FLAKES AN ADDITIVE MUD CHEMICAL FOR OIL- WELL DRILLINGS


MICA FLAKES have been preferably used in water-based and oil based oil-well drillings operations as an additive mud chemical to prevent loss of circulation and seepage. Mica is specially added to seal-off the lost circulation zones. The platy structure of mica facilitates the overlapping of particles to form a layer or wall and acts as a sealant that bridges the openings. The use of mica helps to seal porous formations and contributes to regain circulation keeping the solids in suspension.

The technique adopted is to mix quantities of mica flakes and granular bentonite into special batches of mud which is pumped down the hole. The drill pipe is then withdrawn and the hole left undisturbed for a time being. Mica flakes tends to plate out on the walls at the lost zones and reduce the size of the holes through which the mud can pass. After a short interval, the plug is strong enough to permit circulation to resume without loss. Drilling then proceeds normally until a depth well below the lost circulation zone.

TYPICAL PROPERTIES

Mineralogy Muscovite Mica
Appearance Flexible, non-adhesive, pearly silver flakes
Specific Gravity 2.2 - 2.8 
Density 270-320 Kg/m3 (0.17-0.20 gm3/cc)
pH (BS 3483) 7.5
Moisture 100oC Less than 0.25%
Impurities Negligible
Water Solubility (BS 1775) Virtually insoluble 
Reactivity Inert. No reaction with hydrocarbons, acids, brines and water
Oil Absorption (BS 1775) 60-75 gms/oil
Effect on Mud No adverse effect on properties and components of oil or water base muds

There are three grades of MICA FLAKES which are normally used for specific purposes:

Coarse Mica Flakes: Suitably used for sealing openings. Apparent density = 0.17kg/ltr. Particle Size : Max 10% retained on 9.50mm B.S.Sieve. Material retained on Sieve 4.75mm + material passed through 1.70 mm = 30-40% Max.

Medium Mica Flakes: Generally used to combat mild circulation in porous formations. Apparent density=0.18 kg/ltr. Particle size: Max 10 % retained on 3.35 mm B.S.Sieve. Material retained on 1.70 mm + material passed through Sieve 0.425 mm = 30-40% Max.

Fine Mica Flakes: Suitable for use when a sealing agent is needed to be small enough to pass through a shaker screen without interfering with the operations. Apparent density=0.20 kg/ltr. Particle size : Nil retained on 0.850 mm B.S.Sieve. Material retained on Sieve 0.425 mm + material passed through sieve 0.15 mm = 30-40% Max

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