Meridian breaks new ground with vegetable-based drilling fluid

An innovative new vegetable-based drilling fluid, developed by Meridian Drilling and Morrison Muds, promises an environmentally friendly alternative to hydrocarbon based fluids.

The specialist fluid was developed for drilling highly soluble potash salts and other problematic strata and has none of the disposal issues of hydrocarbon-based muds. It can dramatically improve core recovery and hole stability in these difficult formations reducing stuck pipe, washouts and other downhole problems.

MD of Meridian Drilling Jeremy Moore said: “Our drilling fluid specialists developed this product in cooperation with Morrison Mud, initially for a potash project in the Danakil Depression, Ethiopia where this was fundamental in achieving the high quality core required by our Client.

“The project is in a very remote part of the world and the formations in Danakil are highly soluble. We needed something that would work in such an unstable geological environment but had low disposal issues.”

The team came up with the solution of a vegetable based fluid as it was perfect for highly unstable and soluble formations such as the Bischofite and Tachyhydrite found in Danakil.

Meridian Drilling has earned a reputation for having the skills and specialist knowledge to enable to work in difficult areas. Currently operating in Ethiopia, the Republic of Congo, Western Turkey and Britain, Meridian Drilling is privately owned and headquartered in the UK.