Abstract— Extensive works have been done on the subject matter of local sourcing of drilling fluid additives to reduce our importation burdens especially in this era of dwindling oil fortunes. This local sourcing will bolster industrialization and reduce unemployment in a vast economy like Nigeria. The results of the previous studies have shown promising potentials which are in tandem with our local content mandate of the government. Cassava starch has been identified as one of these additives and our ranking as the world largest producer of cassava remains instructive. Currently, all the starch used in the oil and gas industry is imported. The major constraint to the use of cassava starch is their extreme susceptibility to post-harvest degradation. This work, therefore, is an attempt to address this problem of stability by the application of appropriate preservatives without prejudice to the rheological properties of the mud. In carrying out this study at temperatures of 80, 120, 150 and 1900F, three cassava starch cultivars TMS 92/0057, TMS 98/0581 and TMS 96/1632 and four common preservatives in the food industry; the salts of benzoate, propionate, sorbate and metabisulphite were used in the bentonite mud formulations. The result showed that out of the sixty-one mud formulations, only five of them adequately met the API rheological properties threshold. These five muds exhibited properties that compare favourably to the imported starch sample. This stabilized product holds much promise as a substitute to the imported starch for use in water-based drilling mud formulations for the Nigerian oil industry.
Keywords— Cassava starch, Drilling fluids, Rheology, Preservatives.
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