The barite and bentonite are available for applications of oil and gas drilling, foundry, medical, construction etc. These additive binders are mainly used by the petroleum industry as a weighting material in the formulation of drilling mud. Barite increases the hydrostatic pressure of the drilling mud allowing it to compensate for high-pressure zones experienced during drilling. The softness of the minerals also prevents it from damaging drilling tools during drilling and enables it to serve as a lubricant.
In 2013 we produced 80,000 tonnes of barite and bentonite to our down stream and construction contracting customers in the USA, Africa, Europe and Asia.
The high-purity form of barite is used in the gastrointestinal tract where its density prevents x-ray penetration, and thus is visible on an x-ray. The outline of the gastrointestinal tract thus becomes visible allowing the determination of normal and abnormal anatomy. Barite is also used in a wide variety of other applications including plastics, clutch pads, rubber mud flaps, mold release compounds, radiation shielding, television and computer monitors, sound-deadening material in the automotive industry, traffic cones, brake linings, paint and golf balls, etc.
Present day methods of constructing diaphragm walls – by using a bentonite powder mixed with water suspension (slurry) to support and stabilize the trench walls during excavation – have been adapted from the drilling techniques employed by oil well engineers. These products are used by our downstream contractors such as Shlumberger as a proven solution for downhole challenges from the simple to the complex.
Our specialized additives complement the efficiencies of our clients’ advanced drilling fluid systems by targeting performance-hindering downhole problems that drive up costs and threaten drilling programs. We introduce cost-effective, high-efficiency micronized barite technology to water- and oil-base drilling fluids.