What is Natural Bitumen (Gilsonite)?
Gilsonite is a high-strength bitumen modifier and proven for road surfaces after hot asphalt princip. It is a 99,9% pure natural hydrocarbon without proper filler content and with a melting point at about 150°C. It is a natural bitumen, a petroleum-based solid state, which gets along very well with petroleum bitumen. In the mixture of bitumen and Gilsonite, it takes to the hardness and durability of the Gilsonite, but also retains the flexibility of the bitumen. Thereafter, the low-temperature properties are not affected, it delays grain outbreaks and increases the resistance to deformation of the road construction. Natural Bitumen is a cost efffective and technically viable alternative compared to the use of PMB bitumen.
Gilsonite has been used in the oilfield as an additive in drilling fluids. Gilsonite, in various grades and formulations, has been used to combat borehole instability problems, provide lubricity, especially in highly deviated holes, and more recently as a bridging agent to combat differential pressure sticking and provide a law invasion coring fluid. It has been well documented that appropriately formulated Gilsonite products can minimize hole collapse in formations containing water-sensitive, sloughing shales and reduce stuck pipe problems by forming a thin wall cake and an inter-matrix filter cake.
Gilsonite products are currently being widely used in water based, oil based, and synthetic based mud systems worldwide. Blended Gilsonite has proved to be very effective in all water-based systems.