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Renewable oils company Solazyme enters oil & gas drilling market with Encapso lubricant

25 March 2014

Solazyme, Inc., a renewable oil and bioproducts company, is entering into the oil and gas drilling fluids additive market. Building upon its proprietary platform of high performance, sustainable Tailored oils, Solazyme has introduced Encapso, the first encapsulated biodegradable lubricant for drilling fluids designed to deliver high-grade lubricant precisely at the point of friction where and when needed most.

The demand for energy continues to grow but new sources of fossil fuels are more difficult than ever to recover. As long as the oil and gas industry continues to extract fossil fuels, we at Solazyme view it as an imperative that it is done in a more sustainable way to protect the environment for generations to come. The drilling industry needs new high-performance and sustainable technologies to meet rising energy demand and increased drilling. Encapso’s unique targeted lubricant delivery system helps reduce the costs for the oil and gas exploration and production industry and provides improved drilling performance.

—Solazyme CEO Jonathan Wolfson

Encapso’s efficacy has been demonstrated both in the lab and in the field in more than a dozen commercial wells in a number of basins including the Williston Basin, Denver-Julesburg, and the Permian Basin.

Encapso increases drilling speed and control, and protects valuable equipment. The majority of work so far has been done in horizontal wells, helping demonstrate Encapso’s performance capabilities when it comes to “building the curve”—or the point where an unconventional well transitions from vertical to horizontal. This is often when drilling engineers find the most difficulty managing drilling friction. Improving the speed and efficiency of drilling translates directly to cost savings for well operators.

After adding Encapso to the system we saw a rate of increase in our rate of penetration from two feet per hour to 40 feet per hour. Encapso is a game changer because you’re reducing your torque, reducing your drag, and reducing your coefficients of friction all at the same time. No other product on the market does that.Philip Johnson, a senior drilling engineer who worked with Encapso on behalf of a major exploration and production company

When I learned that this lubricant was encapsulated and therefore would deliver a drilling lubricant in a more targeted way, I saw the tremendous potential benefits. I introduced Encapso to a few customers and worked with them on several wells that they were drilling. In all cases, we witnessed marked improvements in directional control.

—Tony Rea, President of Arc Fluids

Solazyme, Inc. transforms a range of low-cost plant-based sugars into high-value oils. Initially, Solazyme is focused on commercializing its products into three target markets: (1) fuels and chemicals, (2) nutrition and (3) skin and personal care.

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