Xoptix Ltd based in Malvern, England is renowned for innovative in-line particle analysis through years of experience in laser diffraction technology. The use of their XO range of particle sizers for in-line monitoring of drilling muds has grown in popularity due to their stable yet robust measurement.

Used in the oil extraction process from new wells and maintaining oil well operation for established wells, drilling muds need close monitoring for particles to ensure they are fit for purpose. Drilling muds provide lubrication and cool down the drill bit, but also prevent ingress of fluids and solids into the rock formation. The Xoptix XO range of particle analysers are used to measure different geologies that will have different particle size distributions.

The Xoptix on-line real-time particle size measurement system is stable, trusted and innovative technology. The mud is extracted from a bypass in the process by a 4 way valve through which the continuous phase is passing 24/7 as well as the mud. For aqueous based muds (ABM) the continuous phase will be water, oil based muds (OBM) can use diesel or mineral oil. While synthetic based muds can use acetals or esters. A slug of sample is extracted and diluted by the continuous phase every three minutes, mixed in a pre-diluter and then analysed by the Xoptix laser sensor. Real time particle size distributions are attained and key parameters are compared and then controlled to the pre-determined optimised values by implementation of two user settable 4-20 mA control outputs.

Richard Graves, Technical Director at Xoptix explains how it works “Our XO particle sizer system acts as a watchdog detecting excessive amounts of coarse particles >x microns (dependent on rock pore size) and control the particle size distribution suitable for drilling in diverse geologies.” He adds “We have attached this technology and incorporated into measuring and controlling a variety of oil based substrate all across the world”.

The Applications Team based at the Headquarters in Malvern, England, work with customers globally on unique processes such as oil, to standardise particles and provide documentation on delivering performance.

For the full product overview email mail@xoptix.co.uk or call +44 1684 899345.