Definition - What does Barite mean?
Barite is an inorganic compound that is used in drilling fluids to increase the weight of the drilling mud. It is insoluble in water and has no distinctive odor. Its chemical formula is BaSO4. It is white in color and has a crystalline body. It consists of barium sulfate and when used as a weighing agent, it can produce slurry of around 20 pounds in water.
Petropedia explains Barite
Barite is mostly used in oil well drilling fluids as it tends to surge the density of these liquids. Being a heavy weighing agent, it is used as an additive to the water-based drilling mud fluid which helps in increasing the density as per the requirement. Many other additives are also used in the drilling mud composition besides barite such as bentonite clay (gel) and calcium carbonate (chalk) or hematite. By increasing the density of the fluid, the fractured rocks beneath the surface can move easily without blocking the wellbore so that the extraction process can be carried out. By adding barite to the drilling fluid, the bottom hole pressure inside a wellbore can be maintained.