Barite (BaSO4) is the most common and most consumed weight additive for drilling fluids. It is used as a thickening agent in drilling fluids to suppress high pressure and drilling bursts. An added benefit is that magnetic tracking in the borehole does not interfere with magnetic measurements.

The Best Additive for Oil & Gas Drilling

As the base drilling grade "weighting material" mud remains the primary source produced from ores for many years to adjust its density. Barite increases the hydrostatic response of the drilling mud, making it a stabilizer for the high pressure areas encountered during drilling.

The softness of barite also serves as a surface and prevents damage to the drill bit while drilling. The American Petroleum Institute (API) has established several specifications for the use of barite in drilling fluids.