OFI Develops First Dynamic Linear Swell Meter

As part of their effort to produce innovative instrument designs for the oilfield industry, OFI Testing Equipment Inc. has developed the first Linear Swell Meter that is capable of dynamically testing the effect drilling fluids have on shale formations.

Investigating the swelling characteristics of shale formations is vital in selecting a proper drilling fluid to give maximum inhibition and wellbore stability. While drilling a well, a shale formation will immediately begin to swell if the drilling fluid is not completely compatible with the formation. This swelling can cause many problems such as bit balling, pipe drag, hole sloughing or other "gumbo" related problems. Therefore, selecting the proper drilling fluid prior to or during the drilling operation can be very beneficial in achieving a stable wellbore.

Other swell meters on the market are designed to test shale samples in static fluid. However, fluids circulate as drilling progresses, so testing shale samples in a static environment does not always provide the most accurate readings.

The OFITE Linear Swell Meter is the only swell meter on the market capable of dynamically testing drilling fluids, providing more realistic results. "An accurate and reliable means of obtaining valuable laboratory data is essential to any successful drilling project," said Dennie Norwood, manager of engineering and technical sales for OFITE. "With the new Dynamic Linear Swell Meter, engineers are armed with data that more closely matches downhole conditions than ever before."