Investigating the effects of elutriation in upgrading middle-grade barite ore from Obubra, Cross River State, Nigeria for drilling mud applications

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria


Obubra’s local government, located in the Cross River State of Nigeria, possesses commercial quantities of barite ores. These ore possess various forms of processing challenges. This paper presents research carried out to evaluate the efficacy of desliming to improve the physical properties of Obubra barite ore for its applications in the oil and gas industries. The desliming was carried out via elutriation using a floccumatic machine. The desliming parameters used in the experimental design were selected based on related literature; the factors and levels used included flowrates of 25.2 and 42.50 ml.s-1 and agitation times of 20 and 30 min. The physical and chemical responses were evaluated after each operation to evaluate the efficacy of each processing step. The optimal specific gravity after desliming was 4.18, up from the raw value of 4.14; the fineness or grain size remained the same at 75 µm; the moisture content was within the values of 0.01-0.02 % before and after the desliming process; while the pH value decreased to 7.06, from the raw value of 7.3. These results showed that Obubra barite ore can be upgraded by elutriation to meet the required American Petroleum Industry (API) specifications for use in the formulation of drilling mud.

Graphical Abstract

Investigating the effects of elutriation in upgrading middle-grade barite ore from Obubra, Cross River State, Nigeria for drilling mud applications


  • The  upgrading of middle-grade barite ore by the process of elutration was studied.
  • Elutriation of barite by desliming improves the physical properties for its applications in the oil and gas industries.
  • The physical and mineralogical properties of the processed barite were investigated.


Main Subjects

Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by IROST.

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