This paper investigates the effect of using barite nanoparticles (NPs) in water based mud (WBM) on fluid loss reduction. Experimental testing at different concentrations and at various permeable media sizes was performed with chemically synthesized and mechanically generated NPs to determine the effect on decreasing fluid loss. All experiments were conducted using a standard API fluid loss apparatus. It was observed that increasing the nanoparticle concentration results in a significant decrease in fluid loss for both mechanically generated and chemically synthesized nanoparticles. The results show that chemical nanoparticles have a greater effect at reducing fluid loss than the mechanically generated nanoparticles. The observations realized are critical in application, both operationally and environmentally. Maximizing the filtration reduction of WBM into shale intervals while drilling can reduce swelling and sloughing of the formation, preventing drilling operations from being hindered. Likewise, this is mutually beneficial for the environment by preventing shallow water contamination through drilling fluid loss or filtration. The novelty of this research is a further understanding of the ability to use barite NPs in WBM, whether chemically or mechanically generated, and how each delivers a reduction in fluid filtrate for a given permeable media.

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