Nigerian minister urges domestic use of barite
Published: Thursday, 27 April 2017
Domestic barite ‘4.3 gravity’; Government to meet with producers; Rig Count shows exploration up
The Nigerian federal government said in March that it will
work with domestic barite (barytes) producers to convince those
exploiting oil fields in the country to use their products.
Kayode Fayemi, Nigeria’s minister of solid
minerals development, made the statements during a meeting with
the Association of Miners and Processors of Barite (AMAPOB) in
Fayemi made assurances that he will meet with domestic oil
companies to see why they were choosing to import barite from
overseas producers, claiming that domestic grades of barite
were of high enough quality to use in oil drilling, local media
Barite needs to be of 4.2 gravity in order to be used
in oilfield app lications, where it is used as a weighting
agent. Nigeria produces very little barite and its
quality is questionable, although Fayemi claimed local quality
achieved 4.3 specification.
The largest producer of barite is China, which in 2016
produced 22.8m tonnes, according to the US Geological Survey
(USGS), followed by India, which produced 1m tonnes.
|Worldwide rig count
|Source: Baker Hughes
Demand expected to rise
Demand for barite and other oilfield minerals is expected to
rise alongside increased exploration. According to the latest
Baker Hughes rig count, exploration increased in March 2017
While drilling is still in the lows compared with two years
ago, there is an uptrend noted.
Worldwide drill count was at 1,985, for the countries that
participate, up 28% on March 2016. In the US, the drill count
has increased 65% year-on-year to 789 in March 2017.