December 2018 No. 73 Vol. 12


New Products Provide Inadvertent Returns Solutions

Right Turn Supply now supplies two different additives to aid HDD contractors in dealing with inadvertent returns.

Right Turn Supply has introduced two new products to prevent and remediate inadvertent drilling fluid returns during horizontal directional drilling (HDD) operations.
Drill Seal HDD is an additive composed of a blend of natural plant fibers designed to conform to the shape of pores and fractures of a bore hole, providing a bridge and primary seal against inadvertent returns (IR).

HDD Defense is applied at the onset of IR by placing a highly concentrated, very thick mixture “pill” across the zone where loss is occurring and swelling to provide a lasting seal.
Both products are available now from Right Turn Supply.

“IR has plagued the HDD industry since its inception,” said Jon Heinen, Right Turn founding member and partner. “In addition to excessive mud costs, IR can lead to lost time, excessive cleanup costs and punitive fines from regulating bodies. All have a significant impact on a project. With growing regulations and environmental concerns, IR is now making some jobs uneconomical or even undrillable.”

There are many causes of IR.

“Many drilling areas,” Heinen said, “are prone to IR due in part to unconsolidated formations, low overburden pressures and natural fractures. While many of these situations can be avoided using proper mud chemistry, IR often is unavoidable. Sudden hole collapse, poor hole cleaning and pump surge pressures are situations where sudden IR can occur without warning.”

Engineered for HDD

Heinen said Right Turn partnered with Drillchem Drilling Solutions to engineer the new products.“Drillchem,” he continued, “is an expert in preventing and remediating lost circulation in the

oil and gas industry. Drillchem took technologies from the oilfield and adapted them for use in directional drilling. They were developed in Drillchem’s technology center using specialized equipment adapted for simulating inadvertent returns.

“The combination of Right Turn’s industry knowledge and Drillchem’s sealing technologies enabled the partnership to bring solutions to customers that saves time and money on projects where IR could lead to significant cost overruns and shutdowns in extreme conditions.”

To-date the new products have been used on 14 projects. For example, installing 1,800 feet of 16-inch steel gas pipe in Bossier Parish, La. At 700 feet into the bore, drilling fluid returns to the rig were completely lost and an IR was discovered on the levee of an adjacent pond at the 500-foot mark.

“Pipe was pulled back 50 feet,” Heinen said. “A 1,000-gallon mud tank was filled with 900 gallons of fresh mud and 48 sacks of HD Defense were added. After mixing the pill, the rig pumped the entire 1,000 gallons displacing the pill completely outside the drill string.”

The drill string was pulled out of the hole and the bit repositioned about 200-feet, and the hole was left static for one hour, forty-five minutes to allow the pill to seal the IR.
“After the wait time,” Heinen continued, “the rig began circulating at 20 gpm to squeeze the pill into the fracture to create a seal. After circulating for one hour, no mud was observed coming out of the fracture on the levee. The pumps were stopped and the rig rotated back to 700 feet, and drilling resumed while adding one sack of Drill Seal HDD per 1,000 gallons of mud, to prevent further IR.

The remainder of the pilot hole was drilled to 1,800 feet without any further IR.”

With headquarters in Houston, Right Turn Supply markets consumables and tools for the HDD and pipeline industries, including drilling fluid, additives, hole openers, mud motors, pipe vacs and other products.

Partners with Heinen in Right Turn are Patrick Robinson and Tim Hutton. All have extensive experience in the HDD industry.
Drillchem Solutions is based in The Woodlands, Texas, and specializes in lubricants, sealants and inhibitors.

Right Turn Supply, (281) 413-1939,

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