Drilling Fluids

Drilling Fluids

Gilsonite prevents formation damage

Gilsonite forms a physical and chemical bond with permeable formations, creating an effective seal to prevent the passage of drilling fluid. By uniquely functioning as both a malleable and solid plugging agent, Gilsonite controls fluid loss and seepage, prevents lost circulation and protects reactive and low-reactive shale surfaces, even at elevated bottomhole temperatures.

Proven to strengthen the wellbore

HP/HT wells, shales and underpressured zones require specialized drilling fluids and wellbore-strengthening techniques. Adding Gilsonite to an OBM, SBM or WBM strengthens the well by:

Reducing pore pressure transmission and sealing micro-fractures in shale and low-porosity sands

Keeping interbedding formations intact

Developing effective filter cake

Providing a “smear effect” that creates a continuous protective sealant along the wellbore wall

The most effective additive to prevent differential sticking

Gilsonite minimizes the occurrence of stuck pipe and stuck logging tools by thoroughly sealing permeable formations – even in zones with a highly overbalanced pressure differential – and improving filter cake lubricity.


All-natural Gilsonite is safe for Gulf of Mexico operations

Naturally occurring Gilsonite has significant health advantages over synthetic products. Gilsonite is:

Non-toxic (unlike coal or fly ash)



Gilsonite is the only drilling fluid additive that provides all of these benefits:

Controls fluid loss and seepage

Stabilizes shales

Prevents lost circulation

Strengthens the wellbore to increase wellbore stability

Minimizes differential sticking

Promotes effective filter cake development

Performs in oil- and water-based drilling muds

Performs in HP/HT environments

Minimizes HSE risks


Compared to alternative products, Gilsonite offers comparable or superior performance at a much lower cost. In water-based mud (WBM) applications, Gilsonite’s performance compares favorably with sulfonated asphalts while costing 25-50% less.

Water-based Mud Applications

In HP/HT environments using synthetic-based mud (SBM), Gilsonite provides a cost reduction of more than 80% compared to premium co-polymer, while the high softening point of Gilsonite also results in a 45% reduction in fluid loss.