ForceGel HT Xanthan Drilling Gum

ForceGel HT Xanthan gum drilling fluid is generated by the bacteria Xanthomonas Campestris and produced commercially by a fermentation process.

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ForceGel HT Xanthan Gum Polysaccharide Gelling Agent
The base technology of ForceGel HT Xanthan gum drilling fluid is Xanthan, a natural polymer, generated by the bacteria Xanthomonas Campestris and produced commercially by a fermentation process. It is composed of three monosaccharides – mannose, glucose, and glucuronic acid, arranged in a highly branched structure with an estimated molecular weight of 5 million. Xanthan’s polar side chains provide sites for extensive hydrogen bonding with water and interactions between polymer chains that give rise to a helical structure in solution. ForceGel HT liquid biopolymer is a high-purity cross-linked Xanthan suspended in an ultra-clean mineral oil and biodegradable surfactants for ease of mixing. It is not subject to particle settling or fluid separation under normal storage or transport conditions. Starting with an environmentally friendly fluid and utilizing our unique suspension technology, we eliminate settling of the ForceGel HT while the product remains fully pourable. The long-term stability of the suspension provides for consistent, reliable product properties at your field locations any place in the world. This type of structure allows for a significant increase in solution viscosity especially at low shear rates. The physical properties of ForceGel HT have led to its use in a variety of drilling and completion applications. It is readily soluble in hot and cold water and brines over a wide pH range. In aqueous solutions, ForceGel HT is highly pseudoplastic and shows stability to a wide range of temperatures and pH changes. ForceGel HT has unique resistance to thermal degradation at temperatures up to and over 300°F, but at the same time is susceptible to degradation by enzymatic and oxidizing agents – these properties are ideal for drilling, completions, and fracking. ForceGel HT was cross-linked using a proprietary ionic process yielding an eco-safe, biodegradable, compound with enhanced pseudoplastic properties required to move large amounts of solids. It’s unique ‘scaffolding’ molecular structure makes the product an excellent suspending agent to carry cuttings from drilling and completion operations. ForceGel HT’s rheological properties are particularly well suited to oilfield applications in that it’s pseudoplastic and produces high viscosity while at rest.

Xanthan Gel Drilling Mud Viscosifier Advantages:

  • Easy to handle and mixes well in low shear environments
  • Extremely stable suspension provides reliable properties
  • Freeze/thaw cycle does not affect stability or performance of the product
  • Optimized bit hydraulics resulting in higher penetration rates (increased ROP)
  • Viscous laminar flow in the annulus for improved wellbore stability with maximum hole cleaning and suspension capacity; minimal drilled solids settle under static conditions
    Performs well in freshwater, seawater, and a variety of brines; both mono and divalent salts and saturated salt environments
  • Excellent viscosifier – requires less material than other types of rheology modifiers
  • Solution viscosity is stable in varied temperature and pH conditions
  • Stable thickener for 15% HCl at temperatures below 200°F; utilized in the wellbore stimulation allowing for dissolved/displaced solids removal.
  • Rapid dispersion without ‘fisheyes.’
  • Excellent friction reduction in coil tubing applications
  • Demonstrates beneficial synergistic effect with polyacrylic polymers utilized for friction reduction and shale stabilization.

Table 1 ForceGel HT demonstrates outstanding performance which is readily seen in field conditions – tested at 3 gals/10 bbls and 5 gals/10 bbls in Seawater, Saturated NaCl (9.9 lbs/gal), and 11.0 lb/gal CaCl2 brine. Tested at 100°F – Fann 35, f1.0 measurement. Results show ForceGel HT is broad-spectrum and the one polymer that the drilling and completion system should not be without. force-gel-xanthan-gum-drilling-fluid-table-11

Table 2 ForceGel HT exhibits high calcium stability – tested at 3 gals/10 bbls in 11.0 lb/gal CaCl2 brine weighted to 12.0 lb./gal with 90 lbs/bbl of Calcium Carbonate. Aged at 150°F for 24 hours and cooled to 75°F for Fann 35, f1.0 measurement. These lab results indicate why ForceGel HT users in cement plug drill outs swear by its outstanding solids carrying capacity. force-gel-xanthan-gum-drilling-fluid-table21


Table 3 ForceGel HT exhibits improved thermal stability with increased brine density – tests at 5 gallons/10 bbls in CaCl2; Fann Model 50 @100 sec-1. These lab results back up field-use results demonstrated on a basis by users. force-gel-xanthan-gum-driling-fluid-table31


General Guidelines for Maximum Performance ForceGel HT can be used with or without bentonite, i.e. as a secondary or primary viscosifier/suspending agent. Unlike other polymers (cellulosic, polyacrylamides, starches), cross-linked ForceGel HT develops significant viscosity at low shear rates (LSRV) to provide suspension of weight materials in high-density fluids. ForceGel HT can be used in a wide range of makeup waters, ranging from fresh water to saturated sodium chloride, in formate brines, and near-saturated calcium chloride. The following are some general guidelines to achieve optimum fluid efficiency in the field:

1. As with any polymer-based system, the use of efficient solids control equipment is recommended, including high speed, a fine screen shale shakers, hydro clones, and decanting centrifuges. Overall stability is based on maintaining low-density solids in the ≤ 5% by volume range and using the biopolymers to increase LSRV.

2. Bingham Plastic parameters, the plastic viscosity (PV), yield point (YP) will often be inverted, preferably varying between a PV:YP ratio of 1:2 to 1:3 with a PV in the 10-20 range for unweighted systems. Using ForceGel HT to improve carrying capacity will automatically maintain a low PV while increasing viscosity at low shear rates (≤5.1 sec-1), as measured by the Fann 35 and Brookfield viscometers.

3. Using the Power Law model, “n” values, as calculated between 3 and 300 rpm, should be maintained between 0.25 and 0.35 for optimum shear thinning characteristics and hydraulic efficiency. “K” values >10 dynes.secn/cm2 are recommended to assure sufficient LSRV for suspension. Hole conditions should dictate the need for increasing “K”. Fill on trips, settling, barite sag, and trouble making connections are all symptomatic of hole cleaning problems brought about by inadequate LSRV, and indicate the need to add ForceGel HT biopolymers.

4. For optimum stability, pH of xanthan systems should be maintained between 8.0 and 9.0. Monitor and treat the high pH (above 10.0). Watch systems with soluble calcium such as in drilling cement solids due to rapid pH increases and the potential for reduction in performance. Pre-treat with ForcePyrophos to minimize the effect.

5. In low pH, fresh water and low salinity brines (<10% salt) a biocide/biostat (Glutaraldehyde) is highly recommended if the fluid is to be stored.

6. Various additives, including glycols, polymeric blends, resins, and salts have been developed for shale inhibition. While most are compatible with ForceGel HT and other Force Chem Technologies polymers (ForceFluids D-1020 Series – “FR’s”), pilot testing is highly recommended if cationic inhibitors are used (Halliburton Clay Stay & other similar technologies). For optimum stability, ForceGel HT should be pre-hydrated in the makeup fluid prior to adding cationic shale inhibitors.

Application: ForceGel HT mixes easily with oilfield waters. Add 0.5 to 3 quarts/bbl (0.50 – 4.0 lb/bbl) to drilling fluids depending on the application and viscosity required. Allow more time for complete hydration in cold fluid temperature or high salt content (monovalent – KCl/NaCl and divalent – CaCl2/CaBr2) content waters. ForceGel HT has unique a unique ‘scaffolding’ molecular which allows other polyacrylic polymers to be mixed with the system to enhance carrying capacities, increase friction reduction, drag reduction, or prevent fluid loss. Force Chem’s ForceFluids D-1021 –D-1023 series drilling fluids have been developed to be used alone or in combination with ForceGel HT’s positive system benefits. Combining the technologies can reduce use of both compounds while maintaining the highest possible performance available in the industry. Additionally, our glass and polymer GX and PX drilling beads can come suspended in our ForceGel HT.



Please see our ForceGel HT Technical Data Sheet for further details.

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