A perspective on the potential application of bio-inhibitors for shale stabilization during drilling and hydraulic fracturing processes

Ato Kwamena Quainoo, Berihun Mamo Negash*, Cornelius B. Bavoh, Tarek Omar Ganat, Bennet Nii Tackie-Otoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


This work presents a comprehensive review on the use of bio-inhibitors for stabilizing gas/oil shales during drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The swelling and dispersion inhibiting potentials and mechanisms of 23 bio-inhibitors were analytically reviewed and compared with existing conventional inhibitors. Relevant data on the influence of bio-inhibitors to shale swelling, YP, contact angle, and zeta potential is provided. Also, the toxicity, biodegradability and production viability of bio-inhibitors are discussed. The review indicated that bio-inhibitors are potential candidates for clay swelling inhibition considering their low-cost, performance and environmental friendliness. The work provides guidelines and recommendations in selecting efficient shale destabilization inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103380
JournalJournal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Bio-inhibitors
  • Biodegradation and toxicity
  • Drilling and fracturing fluids
  • Molecular dynamics simulation
  • Reactive clays
  • Shale swelling and inhibition mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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