City and County of Broomfield, CO

07/11/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/11/2019 18:38

Extraction Drilling Mud

In response to ongoing odor issues, Extraction has agreed to utilize a synthetic drilling mud, Neoflo 4633, prior to initiating drilling of the second well at the Livingston Pad. This drilling fluid is currently in use by another oil and gas operator in the DJ Basin. As a synthetic drilling mud, there are physical properties that differ from hydrocarbon-based drilling mud, like Gibson D822. Some of these differences are outlined below:

1. Neoflo does not contain BTEX or any polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

2. The flashpoint is slightly lower than the D822. Neoflo has a flashpoint of 185 degrees Fahrenheit while D822 is 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Flashpoint is the temperature at which a particular material gives off sufficient vapor to ignite in air when an external ignition source if introduced.
  • The SDS included the flammability rating of Neoflo as a category 4. Under the OSHA Global Harmonization System Standard, a
    category 4 flammable liquid is the lowest hazard ranking. The rankings go from 1-4 with 1 signifying the highest hazard and 4 the lowest.

3. The auto-ignition temperature of Neoflo is 410 degrees Fahrenheit. D822 is slightly lower at 397 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • The auto-ignition temperature is the lowest temperature at which it spontaneously ignites in normal atmosphere without an external source of ignition.
  • This is an important consideration in establishing safety protocols.
  • Neoflo is unlikely to present issues associated with auto-ignition temperatures since the auto ignition temperature of
    Neoflo is 410 degrees Fahrenheit and the maximum temperatures during drilling is approximately 250 degrees Fahrenheit (at the bottom of the borehole) and approximately 115 degrees Fahrenheit at the surface.

4. Extraction uses safety protocols to address other considerations associated with electrostatic charges when using Neoflo or other drilling fluids. These include:

  • Grounding and bonding of pumps and other equipment used to move the fluid
  • Hot work procedures to eliminate ignition sources

5. In order to provide adequate ventilation, Extraction has modified the design of the sound walls to include openings for air to circulate, and in some cases, to provide egress for workers.

6. In order to control the possibility of Neoflo (or any other chemicals/materials) contaminating surface water, there are numerous storm water and other requirements that prevent the introduction of materials to surface waters. This includes berming and other engineered controls.

Extraction has committed to continuing to evaluate drilling fluids that address odor and operational issues.