Gelation kinetics of PAM/PEI based drilling mud for lost circulation applications

Musaab I. Magzoub, Mohamed Shamlooh, Saeed Salehi, Ibnelwaleed Hussein, Mustafa S. Nasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The problem of lost circulation is a direct consequence of the presence of fractures or high permeability. Lost circulation material (LCM) is used to treat the loss that occurs or proactively strengthen the wellbore of the potential loss zones. The polyacrylamide (PAM)/Polyethylenimine (PEI) cross-linkable polymer gel is proven to work best in zone-sealing and plugging applications. In addition to their thermal stability, the fact that these gels are flexible gives them the advantage of deforming and sealing-off multiple and complex near wellbore fractures. The primary objective of this study is to investigate the gelation kinetics of the PAM/PEI cross-linkable polymer to be used in drilling fluids formulations to enhance wellbore stability and strength. Different combinations of polymers and crosslinkers were evaluated; potential polymers were screened for gelation kinetics and gel strength in typical drilling mud formulations. The gelation time of the polymer-based drilling mud formulation is determined in salt-free and in saline systems. The results on rheological properties and gelation kinetics were used to prepare a gelling mud formulation using PAM/PEI cross-linkable polymer as LCM. The produced gel was thermally stable under high-temperature-high-pressure reservoir conditions, which will result in enhanced wellbore strengthening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108383
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Crosslinking
  • Gelation kinetics
  • Lost circulation
  • Polyacrylamide
  • Polyethylenimine
  • Rheology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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