Barite is a mineral consisting of mostly barium sulfate. Its main use over the past decade has been as a weighting agent in hydraulic fracturing due to its high specific gravity. Ana-Lab has been doing barite testing for oil servicing companies and other individual vendors for many years. The standard we use is adopted from API (American Petroleum Institute) methods, and the testing covers heavy metals, carbonates, silica, alumina, iron oxides, extractable sulfide, alkaline earth metals such as calcium and magnesium, density to barium sulfate content, etc.

The current API specifications for drilling grade barite are:

  • Density: 4.20 g/cubic cm, minimum
  • Water soluble alkaline earth metals as calcium: 250 mg/kg, maximum
  • Residue greater than 75 microns: 3.0 % by weight, maximum
  • Particles less than 6 microns in diameter: 30 % by weight, maximum

In addition to the above API specifications, some drilling companies also focus on heavy metals' contents as specified by EPA:

  • Cadmium: 3 mg/kg, maximum
  • Mercury: 1 mg/kg, maximum

Additional heavy metals may also need to be taken into account, like silver, arsenic, chromium, copper, lead, selenium and zinc.

As with all the testing done at Ana-Lab, the barite testing is done to exacting API specifications, with fast turn-around time.