Barium Sulphate

Definition - What does Barium Sulphate mean?

Barium Sulphate, which is also known as Sulphate, is an inorganic compound that is insoluble in water and has no distinctive odor. Its chemical formula is BaSO4 and it is white in color and has a crystalline body. In its raw form, it is found as barite mineral. It is a main component for the oil well drilling fluid in the petroleum industry; it is mainly used to increase the weight of the drilling mud. When used as a weighing agent, barium sulphate can produce slurry of around 20 lbs. in water.

Petropedia explains Barium Sulphate

Barium Sulphate is mostly used in oil well drilling fluids, as it tends to surge the density of these liquids. Being a heavy weighing agent, this inorganic compound 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 barium sulphate. 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 barium sulphate to the drilling fluid, the bottom hole pressure inside a wellbore can be maintained.

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