Supporting local research in the oil and gas industry is a key objective for Bentworth Energy. We are constantly looking for new ways to expand the reach of our activities within Kenya and Africa. We have approached this through local recruitment and training and also by supporting ongoing research into locally available products that can be used as an alternative to imported materials.
Local bentonite as a substitute for imported bentonite
Allan Amombo was an intern with Bentworth Energy who later went on to become a graduate engineer. He investigated if local bentonite can be used as a substitute for imported bentonite. The following is an extract from Allan’s final year project, undertaken in Bentworth’s laboratory:
“In pursuit to offer an alternative for imported original bentonite as a well cementing additive material, an investigation of Kenya clay as a substitute cementing additive for cementing oil and gas wells was studied. Analysis and tests are performed on local clay samples obtained from one location: Nakuru in Kenya. A cement slurry was prepared from the local bentonite as an additive and its major properties analyzed and a comparison drawn with those of imported bentonite, which is the preferred clay for oil well-cementing activities. The results obtained showed that there is substantial similarity in the formulated cement slurry, rheological properties and the strength developed after twenty-four hours when compared to those of imported bentonite.
This study was on the experimental evaluation of the effect of Kenyan local bentonite obtained from Kajiado County and the imported bentonite on fresh water-cement slurry. The experimental test was basically on the thickening time and the ultrasonic compressive strength. The result of this analysis classified local bentonite as a substitute for imported bentonite as a cementing additive.”
Conclusion of the local bentonite research
The research concludes that local bentonite from Kajiado County can be used as a substitute for imported bentonite. Further tests are underway to identify what is needed to optimise a cement slurry for local use.
Key benefits of local research in the oil and gas industry
There is a range of benefits in supporting this kind of local research:
- The creation of research platforms in which students can participate
- Development of a research database for oil and gas cementing in Kenya
- Opportunities for locally produced products to be used in the industry, therefore expanding the local content spend
- Supporting local manufacturers to improve the quality of their products and therefore the overall quality standards of the local chemical manufacturing industry
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