Back 14.10.2008

Gaia develops a unique tool for overall costing of operative consequences and HSE risks for oilfield chemicals

Gaia has developed a new management tool, BrineWise™ for assessing the overall cost consequences of using oil well construction fluids on behalf of Cabot Specialty Fluids. The BrineWise™ tool combines economic and risk management approaches with chemical hazard assessment in an easy to use format.

The upstream oil industry uses vast amounts of well construction chemicals in the process of finding and producing hydrocarbons. The degree of hazard posed by the various chemicals used in well construction operations can significantly influence the overall project health, safety and environmental (HSE) risk as well as the overall operational project economics. To select a safe and cost effective well construction chemical, the effect of the hazard profiles of candidate chemicals on the project economics must be assessed. This requires identification of all operational consequences and quantification of risk cost potential.

BrineWise™, developed by Gaia, is a new software tool that allows oil companies to collate and analyse all the costs associated with the use of high-density clear brines in High Pressure High Temperature well completion and workover operations. The tool allows management to rapidly identify the most cost-effective clear brine system for the operation. BrineWise takes into account the costs of transport, sub-optimal rig time, well clean-up time, waste treatment and disposal, standby time, isolation, treatment and transport of produced water from offshore, production delays and the handover to production costs. Most importantly, BrineWise allows the cost of HSE risks to be estimated in a systematic and consistent manner using real term input based on the individual oil companies’ experience and risk aversion policies. The software gives oil company management an overall view of the cost structure related to chemical choice and supports informed management decision-making. Currently the principles are being incorporated in a major international oil company’s drilling and completion decision support software. The Prototype BrineWise tool compares the overall costs of using two high density completion and workover brine systems, cesium formate and zinc bromide, and systematically relates the chemicals’ hazard profiles to the cost at risk during the project.

“We asked Gaia Consulting to provide us with an innovative model and easy-to-use calculator tool that our clients could use to quantify the effect of the HSE risk posed by well construction fluids on the overall cost of creating oil/gas production wells. We are delighted with the professional manner in which the Gaia experts addressed this difficult challenge and created a novel tool (BrineWise) that promises to revolutionise the way that the oil industry selects the chemicals used in well construction operations. We would recommend Gaia Consulting to anyone with projects involving the quantification and costing of HSE risk”. Jim Turner, CEO, Cabot Specialty Fluids

Read more:

  • Gilbert Y and Kumpulainen A (2008) Bridging HSE risk with cost analysis: A model for optimising completion fluid choice. SPE-120531-PP.
  • Gilbert Y, Nordone A, Downs J, Vaahtera A, Pessala P and Raivio T (2007) REACH and the HSE Case for Formate Brines. IPTC 11222.

About Cabot

Cabot Specialty Fluids, Ltd. (CSF) is a subsidiary of Cabot Corporation. Founded in 1882 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Cabot Corporation is a global performance materials company with 2007 sales of $2.6 billion. Along with cesium formate drilling fluids, Cabot’s major products are carbon black, fumed metal oxides, inkjet colorants, and capacitor materials. The website address is

For more information, contact:

  • Ylva Gilbert, Business Director of Gaia Consulting (+358-400-756358,
  • Karen Morrissey, Vice President Corporate Affairs of Cabot Corporation (+1-617-342-6221,
  • John Downs, Technical Sales Director of Cabot Specialty Fluids (+44-1673-838723,