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 Petroleum exploration

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Registration date : 2010-10-10

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PostSubject: Petroleum exploration   Petroleum exploration EmptyMon Nov 29, 2010 1:01 am

The largest current end-use of caesium is in caesium formate-based drilling fluids for the extractive oil industry.[citation needed] Aqueous solutions of caesium formate (HCOO-Cs+)—made by reacting caesium hydroxide with formic acid—were developed in the mid-1990s for use as oil well drilling and completion fluids. The function of caesium formate as a drilling fluid is to lubricate drill bits, to bring rock cuttings to the surface, and to maintain pressure on the formation during drilling of the well; as completion fluid (which refers to the emplacement of control hardware after drilling but prior to production) is to maintain the pressure.[6]
The high density of the caesium formate brine (up to 2.3 g·cm−3, or 19.2 pounds per gallon),[61] coupled with the relatively benign nature of most caesium compounds, reduces the requirement for toxic high-density suspended solids in the drilling fluid—a significant technological, engineering and environmental advantage. Unlike the components of many other heavy liquids, caesium formate is relatively environment-friendly.[61] The caesium formate brine can be blended with potassium and sodium formates to decrease the density of the fluids down to that of water (1.0 g·cm−3, or 8.3 pounds per gallon). Furthermore, it is biodegradable and reclaimable, and may be recycled, which is important in view of its high cost (about $4,000 per barrel in 2001).[62] Alkali formates are safe to handle and do not damage the producing formation or downhole metals as their corrosive alternative, high-density brines (such as zinc bromide ZnBr2 solutions),sometimes do; they also require less cleanup and disposal costs.[6]

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