Where quality means kicking operational output into high gear.
German K+S KALI GmbH, one of the world’s leading potassium chloride producers, has asked their long-time distributor KAREVA Marketing GmbH over to discuss the advantages of using the best quality chemicals and additives with no compromises.
- Could you start out by telling us a little about your product, the k-drill® C9 and how it works?
(Gerken): k-Drill® C9 (KCL 99%) is a soluble salt that is an extremely efficient shale stabiliser when drilling hydro sensitive clays and shales. Inhibition is provided through ion exchange and the potassium ions (K+) enter between the individual clay platelets in the shale so that they are held together, thus eliminating entry of water from the drilling fluid into the formation.
(Riemann): K+S KALI GmbH has been a successful mining company and potash producer for more than 125 years. Our products are “made in Germany” and we are 100% quality driven. With k-Drill® C9 we offer the purest industrial KCl grade available in the market. All technological parameters concerning function and operation of the product exceed every common minimum specifications.
- The way we understand it, the k-Drill® C9 is particularly well-suited for completion fluids and operations surrounding enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Could you elaborate on that?
(Gerken): k-Drill® is used primarily in “Payzones” for drill-n-fluids, completion, work-over fluids and injection fluids. It is used in all operations in which fluids come into direct contact with the reservoir and will help to avoid formation damage.
“Payzone is a term used in the oil and gas industry. It refers to the rock in which oil and gas are found in exploitable quantities”, in other words, where the money comes from.
(Riemann): Especially when working inside the reservoir you want to be 100% sure that nothing degrades the output rate or damages your operation. Nowadays with a relatively low and unstable oil price it is even more important that you get the maximum output out of your reservoirs. With k-Drill® C9 there are no unpleasant surprises. With outstanding specifications and an ISO certification, quality is assured. You can trust the product and concentrate on the job instead of worrying about chemicals. Since k-Drill® C9 is virtually free of insoluble matter and is far below any prescriptive limits regarding heavy metals it suits all the demands for EOR operations.
- Can you share with us some success stories about k-Drill® C9 in some new critical operations?
(Gerken): The k-Drill® product line has been used for more than a decade and is present in a number of wells in Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Latin and North America.
k-Drill® has an long history of success in KCl polymer muds, KCl glycol polymer PHPA muds, high performance water based muds, drill-n fluids and KCl based completion fluid.
(Riemann): Many oil and drilling companies in Europe request only k-Drill® C9. Drilling and EOR is a highly sensitive subject in Europe that is viewed very critically by the public. One slip up could quickly harm a company’s reputation. Therefore, these companies are keen to achieve 100% reliability and purchase only the best, certified and most reliable production materials.
- Why does it make good financial sense to only use the best quality when it comes to your chemicals?
(Gerken): In order to achieve the best possible result in oil and gas production, as few insoluble substances as possible should be brought into the “Payzone” formation. This is where k-Drill® C9, with just 0.01%, really pays off over the course of production.
(Riemann): From my perspective, there are two advantages to using high quality chemicals. On the one hand, it is the superior specifications that affect your operations directly such as the extremely high content of potassium ions. And on the other hand, it’s the “rest”. If you get a product with a guaranteed content of >99% KCl, then you can be sure there is virtually nothing else in it. No insoluble matter which could affect your output rate negatively, no high calcium content which affects total hardness or any other unwanted substances. If you take a low purity fertilizer-grade of KCl for example you will get maybe 95% purity, sometimes less. This means that 5% of the product you bought contains unknown, uncertain, unpredictable substances. You might save on the purchase price initially, but afterwards the poor quality will cost you, for example by having to filter the fluid or use several additional chemicals to get an acceptable result. One which you would have had if you had used k-Drill® C9 right from the start.
- What other products do you offer in the k-Drill® line? What are their applications and uses?
(Gerken): k-Drill® C6 is used for the top-hole and the upper section drilling where potassium ions (K+) are needed to protect the formation.
k-Drill® S7 is a sulphate based potassium source (K2SO4) and will replace the k-Drill® C6 or C9 when regulations do not allow chlorides.
(Riemann): K+S is a mineral company. We are constantly expanding our product portfolio. Last year we were very much focused on expanding our capacities for magnesium compounds, especially magnesium sulphate, which does not play a major role in oil drilling. Nevertheless, when we come across a new production or acquire a mineral source which is relevant in the oil and gas industry we promote them in this market for sure.
- Could you tell our readers about a particular case where you helped a client with your solutions?
(Riemann): As a mining company of course, we have own expertise in drilling, from solution mining for example. But all our k-Drill® customers are highly experienced professionals in the oil and gas industry. They know exactly what they do and know the best way to use our product in their drilling program. For us it is more important to maintain a running dialog with customers to solve each unique challenge. Reliable partners such as KAREVA Marketing GmbH can offer the k-Drill® products in the major markets directly from the warehouse on short notice, even as critical supplier. This is a service that K+S KALI as a producer can’t provide directly. But thanks to our globally established distribution network we really can say “whenever you need us we are there”.
(Gerken): The fact that customers are willing to spend a few more dollars for our high-grade k-Drill® C9 solution shows us that we are providing the right product, one that pays off for our customers in the end.
(Riemann): Absolutely and let me add one more story that comes to mind. Once we had a client with operations in western Africa. He purchased KCl from a competitor but could not get his containers through customs since the content of radioactivity in the salt was too high. So, his whole operation was at stake. The decision to save a few dollars cost him a lot of money afterwards because the lower quality did not meet regulations. When we got the urgent request we immediately shipped one container of k-Drill® C9 and then replenished his whole stock with k-Drill®.
Oliver Riemann was born in Hamburg in 1983. Seven years ago, after graduating from Cologne University he joined K+S, a leading potash mining company and the world largest salt producer. He currently serves as the Global Sales and Marketing Manager responsible for the oil and gas industry.
Uwe Gerken was born in Essen/Ruhr 1962. Over twenty years ago, after completing a mechanical engineering apprenticeship he joined Baroid Drillings Fluids in Houston, Texas and then worked as Drilling Fluid Engineer, Senior Technical Professional for Halliburton and Operations Manager for AMC Oil & Gas. He currently serves as the Global Sales and Marketing Manager for KAREVA Marketing GmbH, responsible for the oil and gas industry.