Barite is used to increase the density of oil well drilling fluids. It is a mined product that can contain significant quantities of minerals other than barium sulfate, which is its main component.
A list of some minerals commonly associated with barite ores is given in Table 1 with the chemical formulas, mineralogical names, and the densities of the mineral grains.
The performance of barite in a drilling fluid is related in part to the percentage and type of non-barite minerals distributed in the barite ore. Some of these minerals have little or no effect on drilling fluid properties, but others can degrade these properties and even be harmful to rig personnel.
It is the objective of this publication to provide a comprehensive, detailed description of the chemical analytical procedures for quantitatively determining the mineral and chemical constituents of barite. These procedures are quite elaborate and will normally be carried out in a well-equipped laboratory