Experimental investigation of hole cleaning in directional drilling by using nano-enhanced water-based drilling fluids

Natalie Vanessa Boyou, Issham Ismail, Wan Rosli Wan Sulaiman, Amin Sharifi Haddad* (Corresponding Author), Norhafizuddin Husein, Heah Thin Hui, Kathigesu Nadaraja

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Inadequate hole cleaning often leads to challenges in drilling and well completion operations such as low rates of penetration, pipe sticking, losing tools, difficulties in liner/casing placements, etc. Designing a drilling fluid with improved rheological properties would be a solution to increase cuttings transportation efficiency. This study investigates the performance of nanosilica water-based drilling fluids for the hole cleaning process in directional drilling operations. Different inclination angles have been considered in a flow loop system with different rotational speeds (0 and 150 rpm) to simulate the drilling conditions in a wellbore. The performance of nano-enhanced drilling fluids in the cuttings removal process was compared with conventional water-based drilling fluids, and it was found that silica nanoparticles increased the cuttings transport efficiency in all experiments. The results indicated that the presence of nanosilica in the mud increased the colloidal interactions with cuttings and contributed to the improvements in cuttings transportation efficiency by 30.8–44% for different nano-enhanced water-based drilling fluids used in this study. The implementation of nanosilica in water-based drilling fluids showed promising results in the hole cleaning process which demonstrates the feasibility of using them in extended reach drilling operations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-231
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Early online date17 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Bibliographical note

The authors wish to thank the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia for funding this project under grants with cost center and reference numbers of Q.J130000.2646.15J52 (PY/2017/01823), Q.J130000.2546.14H83 (PY2016/06266) and R.J130000.7651.4C195 (PY/2018/03001). We are also grateful to Ainuddin Wahid Endowment Fund for providing the necessary support to accomplish this research. Also, the support from the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen UK to complete this work is appreciated.


  • Directional drilling
  • Hole cleaning
  • Cuttings transport efficiency
  • Nano-enhanced drilling fluids
  • nanoparticles
  • cuttings-transport
  • performance
  • mud


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental investigation of hole cleaning in directional drilling by using nano-enhanced water-based drilling fluids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this