Oilfield Chemicals

Shale Inhibitors

When encountering shale during drilling operations, water in the drilling fluid may interact with the clay materials within the formation, causing the shale to swell. This can lead to instability in the wellbore, and dispersion of shale into the drilling fluid (sloughing), eventually leading to hole washout.


Depending on specific needs, Global Oilfield Solutions has developed a range of shale inhibitors with differing degrees of molecular weight, ionicity, and product forms to cater to different conditions and fluid systems. The products range from hydration inhibitors to multifunctional polymers which give additional viscosity and carrying capacity.

Alternatively where such viscosity is not desired i.e., in high solids non-dispersed muds or in mud pre-mix concentrates, this effect is minimized but shale inhibition is maintained. This is achieved by controlling polymer molecular weight during the (bead) manufacturing process.

Our products inhibit the shale from hydrating, lower the probability of bit balling, and can provide improved lubricity and friction reduction.

Alcomer® 120 is a multi-functional product, acting not only as a shale inhibitor, but also as a viscosifier, friction reducer and flocculant. It has a very good performance reputation and comes in two product forms: liquid dispersion and superior bead.

Additional benefits of Alcomer® 120 L - liquid:
  • Optimized LDP active content (50%)
  • Water-free dispersion of polymer in a low-toxicity mineral oil
  • Excellent stability
  • Easily dissolved and can be mixed on the fly

Benefits of Alcomer® 120 B - bead:
  • Superior bead form brings all the handling benefits of beads: easy mixing, less dust, etc.
  • Provides very good solubility in cold conditions

Alcomer® 60RD is a technically advanced shale inhibitor that provides excellent dispersibility and is in RD or "readily dispersable” powder form. Some additional advantages include:
  • Creates minimum viscosity but provides all benefits of shale inhibition associated with PHPA’s
  • Is a bead polymer in RD Form, which provides very good solubility in cold conditions, in addition to other bead advantages e.g., easy mixing, less dust
  • Avoids excess viscosity when mixing into non-dispersed mud, due to its carefully controlled, low molecular weight
  • Saves energy costs and unnecessary delays associated with "conditioning” the mud.
  • Can be used in mud concentrates - the optimized viscosity profile enables shipping of up to half the volume of mud, which can then be diluted on-site

Alcomer® 110RD
  • a technically advanced shale inhibitor
  • provides excellent dispersibility
  • the particles of this powder wet separately and dissolution can proceed rapidly without the formation of lumps or fish eyes

Alcomer® 115
  • a multifunctional synthetic polymer
  • developed for use in fresh-, KCI- and salt water-based drilling fluids
  • provides viscosity and shale inhibition.

Basodrill products are:
  • Liquid butanol alkoxylate
  • Very cost effective shale inhibitors and lubricants
  • Usually used in conjunction with PHPA