The breakdown on biodegradable drilling fluids

What does biodegradable mean? And why is it important to consider biodegradable products on a drill site?
By definition, biodegradability is the capacity of a material to decompose over time as a result of biological activity; by bacteria, fungi, or other biological means. Due to the large number of chemicals used during drilling operations, adequate knowledge about the biodegradability of chemicals is required for informed decision-making, generally relating to environmental protection.

What kind of biodegradable and environmentally acceptable products can AMC provide?
AMC manufactures a large range of drilling fluids, including non-toxic, biodegradable and environmentally acceptable options, which have minimum impact and break down rapidly in the environment. These products include:

  • AMC XAN BORE™ - a premium quality biopolymer powder designed to provide maximum solids suspension and hole cleaning in vertical and highly deviated wells.
  • AMC TORQUE GUARD™ - a distinctive, next generation, high performance extreme pressure vegetable oil based lubricant to improve adhesion and filming
  • AMC EZEE TROL™ - a new generation, highly dispersive, versatile blend of cellulosic and organic polymers which form a high viscosity fluid that exhibits good hole stabilising characteristics.
We also highly recommend the use of our award-winning Solids Removal Units™ (SRU) to assist with the management and optimisation of our drilling fluids. These units can reduce drilling fluid consumption, water usage, waste disposal, rehabilitation, risk of contamination and reduce the overall drill site footprint.

How can AMC help clients to manage environmental impact of drilling fluids?
AMC’s Research and Development laboratories utilise a range of standard and state of the art equipment for evaluating drilling fluids and products. This allows AMC to simulate the behaviour of drilling fluids in downhole conditions, ensuring products stand up to the most challenging drilling operations.

AMC has a strong commitment to minimising environment impact, providing appropriate resources to comply with legislative requirements and assisting our clients to do the same. We ensure environmental considerations are a priority and focus on reducing overall emissions and waste generation when planning and developing new products. Speak to an AMC representative to see how we can best manage your environmental requirements.

What else can assist in the management of environmental impact?
As the regulatory environment of mining intensifies, resource and drilling contractors around the world have more pressure to comply with environmental and social regulations. AMC’s award-winning Solids Removal Units™ are an environmental alternative to using earthen sumps, which may cause contamination and negatively affect the quality and consumption of drilling fluids. These closed-loop solids control systems contain and recycle drilling fluids on site, maintaining them at optimal condition, without adversely affecting project costs or workflow.

Results from AMC’s case studies prove that an SRU™ is able to deliver multiple customer benefits and savings that significantly outweigh the cost of the unit. Without the need to dig earthen sumps, the SRU™ eliminates all costs involved with installation and rehabilitation as well as reducing the overall site footprint. The SRU’s mud system is contained in the on-board tanks and piped directly to the drill rig and from the drill collar, minimising the risk of spills, leaks, slip and trip hazards, and ensuring minimal risk to the local wildlife.

A recent study of the AMC Surface Solids Removal Unit™ near the town of Inca de Oro in Chile, demonstrated strong environmental benefits of what can be achieved. Over the 13 day drilling period, AMCs Surface Solids Removal Unit™ was able to save 698,000L of water at the open pit mine.

For more information
More information about our drilling fluid range and our award-winning Solids Removal Units™, can be found at our website

AMC has a strong commitment to minimising environment impact, providing appropriate resources to comply with legislative requirements and assisting our clients to do the same.