Oil-based drilling fluid (OBDF) is an important means for offshore drilling, but it would affect the cementing quality. Nanoemulsions shows potential for OBDF removal, but how to prepare nanoemulsion meeting the engineering requirement is lack of good understanding. Moreover, nanoemulsions usually behave badly under low/high temperature, which would restrict the application. Revealing removal mechanisms of nanoemulsion and improving nanoemulsion stability at different temperature are of great significance.

The nanoemulsion could rapidly spread on the wellbore surfaces, cause the adhering OBDF to curl into little droplets, and solubilize the removed OBDF. The removal efficiency can reach more than 98%. Low temperature and higher concentration of dispersed phase both increased the viscosity of nanoemulsions stabilized by surfactants. PEGs can induce the bridging of emulsion droplets at low temperature, leading to significant increase of nanoemulsions viscoelasticity at low temperature (around 5°C). To control the rheological properties of nanoemulsions, a hydrophobic association polymer, HAAP, was proposed. Nanoemulsions containing HAAP does not gel at low temperature (< 15°C). And the viscoelasticity of nanoemulsions increased slightly when the temperature is higher than 70°C because of the thermoassociating behavior of polymer, which can ensure the stability of the nanoemulsions at high temperature.

This paper is helpful to establish a generic route for preparing nanoemulsions with controlled rheological properties under different temperature, which is benefit for their applications in offshore.

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