Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

Committee Chair

Ilkin Bilgesu

Committee Co-Chair

Samuel Ameri

Committee Member

Brijes Mishra


Nanoparticles are the new chemical additives for drilling fluids that can improve their properties and eliminate problems due to increased downtime and well costs. This study investigates the relative impacts of previously untested nanoparticles on the rheology, hydraulics and filtration of water-based drilling muds. The objectives of the experimental study were to select the optimum types and concentrations of commercially available nanoparticles that enhance the rheological and filtration properties and optimize the hydraulics of the water-based drilling fluids.;In this study, the samples were prepared as water-based muds with and without three different types and various concentrations of anionic nanosilica, nanotitanium, and nanoaluminum nanoparticles. In addition, cationic nanoaluminum was tested. Series of laboratory tests were carried out for all samples using standard API Low Pressure Low Temperature (LPLT) filtration and rheological devices. Two mud systems at different pH conditions were used to evaluate the impact of the nanoparticles on the mud's properties. A commercially available software was used to evaluate the impact of the nanoparticles on the equivalent circulation density (ECD) and the circulation pressure loss in a directional well.;Results show enhancements in the rheological, hydraulics and filtration properties for water-based muds treated by some of the nanoparticles with concentrations below 0.7% by weight. The enhancement levels varied based on their type and concentration used in the mixtures. Further, the results show the ability of these nanoparticles to make the filter cake consistent, compacted, fragile, and thin and to prevent the spurt water loss. However, the results reflect the negative impact of all nanoparticles with concentrations above 0.7% by weight on mud's properties. Among all nanoparticles, the optimum concentrations and type resulting in the best properties are observed as 0.1%-0.3% by weight of the nanosilica. Furthermore, the concentration of 0.1% by weight reflected the more significant reduction in the ECD and the pump circulating pressure. Nanoparticles used in this research can play a vital role in reducing drilling problems, such as stuck pipe, formation damage, and shale swelling if they are properly formulated. Thus, multilateral wells, slim holes and deep horizontal wells can be drilled using water-based muds with the addition of proper nanoparticles and eliminating the need for oil-based muds that are expensive and environmentally unacceptable. However, it is critical to select the proper nanoparticle size, type, and concentration in order to eliminate its negative impact on the drilling fluid properties.