Weighting material with a specific gravity of 4.37 used to increase the apparent density of a liquid drilling fluid system. Barite [BaSO4] is the most common weighting agent used today. It is a mined material ground to an API specification such that particle sizes are predominantly in the 3 to 74 micron range.
A dense mineral comprising barium sulfate [BaSO4] that commonly occurs with a range of accessory minerals, such as quartz, chert, dolomite, calcite, siderite and metal sulfides. Used as a weighting agent for all types of drilling fluids, barites are mined in many areas worldwide and shipped as ore to grinding plants in strategic locations. Pure barium sulfate has a specific gravity of 4.50 g/cm3, but drilling-grade barite is expected to have a specific gravity of at least 4.20 g/cm3 to meet API specifications. Contaminants in barite, such as cement, siderite, pyrrhotite, gypsum and anhydrite, can cause problems in certain mud systems and should be evaluated in any quality assurance program for drilling-mud additives.