ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
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Synthesis and assessment of a hydrophobically associating heteropolymer in water-based mud

R. D. Nagre, P. A. Owusu, Alain Pierre Tchameni, S. K. Kyei, and D. Azanu

Department of Chemical Engineering, Kumasi Technical University, Kumasi, Ghana



Received: 3 May 2020  Accepted: 24 September 2020


Water-soluble polymers can be used as key ingredients of both drilling fluids for virgin fields and polymer-enhanced oil recovery in underperforming reservoirs. The efficacy of hydrophobically associating heteropolymer (HAH-Polymer) as an agent for petroleum resource recovery was examined in this study. The hydrophobically associating heteropolymer (HAH-Polymer) comprising acrylamide, sodium 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonate, hydroxyethyl methacrylate and lauryl methacrylate was synthesized in micellar medium by free-radical polymerization. The hydrophobically associating heteropolymer (HAH-Polymer) was characterised by FTIR and 1H NMR spectral analyses. The effects of temperature, pH and shear on the solution behavior of the HAH-Polymer were also examined. Rheological and fluid loss properties of HAH-Polymer-incorporated water-based drilling fluids were assessed. The HAH-Polymer improved the thermal stability between 25 and 160 °C of the drilling mud and maintained mud fluid loss of 8.4–8.6 cm3 compared with the polymer-free blank of 43.5–107.0cm3. In a salt-contaminated mud, the heteropolymer enhanced rheological properties and significantly reduced API filtration loss to 7.6–8.8 cm3 after hot aging between 25 and 150 °C. Under high temperature–high pressure filtration testing of muds, the HAH-Polymer demonstrated excellent fluid loss reduction by providing about eightfold fluid loss control (14.7 cm3) compared to the polymer-free blank (113.2 cm3) at 150 °C.

Keywords: Hydrophobically associating heteropolymer; Water-based mud; Rheological properties; Filtration loss control property

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-020-01379-9


Chemical Papers 75 (3) 1197–1209 (2021)

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