Drilling Fluids

Drilling Fluids


As an integral component of premium drilling fluid products, Gilsonite actively improves drilling efficiencies while reducing costs and minimizing the HSE impact associated with most drilling fluid additives.

Drilling Fluids

Gilsonite is the only drilling fluid additive that provides all of these benefits:

  • Controls fluid loss and seepage
  • Stabilizes shales
  • Prevents lost circulation
  • Strengthens the wellbore to increase wellbore stability
  • Minimizes differential sticking
  • Promotes effective filter cake development
  • Performs in oil- and water-based drilling muds
  • Performs in HP/HT environments
  • Minimizes HSE risks
Gilsonite seals formations to prevent lost circulation, enhance zonal isolation and wellbore stability

Gilsonite prevents formation damage
Gilsonite forms a physical and chemical bond with permeable formations, creating an effective seal to prevent the passage of drilling fluid. By uniquely functioning as both a malleable and solid plugging agent, Gilsonite controls fluid loss and seepage, prevents lost circulation and protects reactive and low-reactive shale surfaces, even at elevated bottomhole temperatures.

Proven to strengthen the wellbore
HP/HT wells, shales and underpressured zones require specialized drilling fluids and wellbore-strengthening techniques. Adding Gilsonite to an OBM, SBM or WBM strengthens the well by:

  • Reducing pore pressure transmission and sealing micro-fractures in shale and low-porosity sands
  • Keeping interbedding formations intact
  • Developing effective filter cake
  • Providing a “smear effect” that creates a continuous protective sealant along the wellbore wall

The most effective additive to prevent differential sticking
Gilsonite minimizes the occurrence of stuck pipe and stuck logging tools by thoroughly sealing permeable formations – even in zones with a highly overbalanced pressure differential – and improving filter cake lubricity.


All-natural Gilsonite is safe for Gulf of Mexico operations
Naturally occurring Gilsonite has significant health advantages over synthetic products. Gilsonite is:

  • Non-toxic (unlike coal or fly ash)
  • Non-carcinogenic
  • Non-mutagenic

Gilsonite is safe to handle, use and store, and passes Gulf of Mexico EPA discharge requirements for deepwater operations.


Compared to alternative products, Gilsonite offers comparable or superior performance at a much lower cost. In water-based mud (WBM) applications, Gilsonite’s performance compares favorably with sulfonated asphalts while costing 25-50% less.

Water-based Mud Applications

In water-based mud (WBM) applications, Gilsonite’s performance compares favorably with sulfonated asphalts while costing 40% less.

In HP/HT environments using synthetic-based mud (SBM), Gilsonite provides a cost reduction of more than 80% compared to premium co-polymer, while the high softening point of Gilsonite also results in a 45% reduction in fluid loss.


American Gilsonite drilling fluid products perform in any application.

Product Softening Points Mud Type More Information
Gilsonite XM-P >325° F OBM Drilling Fluids Product Overview
Gilsonite LM-P >350° F OBM Drilling Fluids Product Overview
Gilsonite GM-P >350° F OBM Drilling Fluids Product Overview
Gilsonite HT Series 400-500° F OBM HT Tech Sheet
Gilsonite AquaSol Series 325-500° F WBM AquaSol Tech Sheet

Deepwater Tech Sheet

To learn more about how Gilsonite can benefit your company, click on your industry below.