Subtask 1.23 - Mercury Removal from Barite the Oil Industry

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Drilling muds are used by the oil and gas industry to provide a seal and to float rock chips to the surface during the drilling process. Barite (naturally occurring barium sulfate ore) is commonly used as a weighting agent additive in drilling muds because it is chemically nonreactive and has a high specific gravity (between 4.2 and 4.25 at 20 C). Because of environmental concerns, barite used by the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico must be certified to contain less than 1 mg/kg of mercury. Faced with these regulations, the U.S. Gulf Coast oil industry has ... continued below

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Holmes, Michael; Nyberg, Carolyn; Brandt, Katie; Eylands, Kurt; Fiala, Nathan & Dunham, Grant September 1, 2008.

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Description

Drilling muds are used by the oil and gas industry to provide a seal and to float rock chips to the surface during the drilling process. Barite (naturally occurring barium sulfate ore) is commonly used as a weighting agent additive in drilling muds because it is chemically nonreactive and has a high specific gravity (between 4.2 and 4.25 at 20 C). Because of environmental concerns, barite used by the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico must be certified to contain less than 1 mg/kg of mercury. Faced with these regulations, the U.S. Gulf Coast oil industry has looked to foreign sources of low-mercury barite, primarily India and China. These sources tend to have high-grade barite deposits and relatively inexpensive domestic transportation costs; as of late, however, U.S. purchasers have been forced to pay increasing costs for shipping to U.S. grinding plants. The objective of this project was to demonstrate two mercury removal techniques for high-mercury barite sources. Two barite samples of unique origins underwent processing to reduce mercury to required levels. The chemical treatment with dilute acid removed a portion of the mercury in both barite samples. The desired concentration of 1 mg/kg was achieved in both barite samples. An economic analysis indicates that thermal removal of mercury would not significantly add to the cost of barite processing, making higher-mercury barite a viable alternative to more expensive barite sources that contain lower concentrations of mercury.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-98FT40320
  • DOI: 10.2172/986898 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 986898
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1012206

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 1, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Dec. 18, 2017, 6:12 p.m.

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Holmes, Michael; Nyberg, Carolyn; Brandt, Katie; Eylands, Kurt; Fiala, Nathan & Dunham, Grant. Subtask 1.23 - Mercury Removal from Barite the Oil Industry, report, September 1, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1012206/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.