Comparative Analysis of Barite Production in Africa

Filed in Articles by on November 9, 2022

Download Comparative Analysis of Barite Production in Africa project materials: This project material is ready for students who are in need of it to aid their research.


Successful oil and gas well drilling require hole stabilization. Barite comprised of barium sulphate is a common mineral chiefly used by oil and gas companies in their drilling operations.

Barite is used in the drilling fluids to maintain the pressure in the wellbore and prevent intrusion of unwanted fluids from the formation being drilled.

Most African countries hold significant reserves of barite but a number of challenges have limited local production resulting in poor quality which does not meet industrial standard and low quantity deficient of local demand.

Mining of barite is left in the hands of unskilled and poorly resourced small- scale artisanal miners.

The aims of this work are to identify and analyse barite producing countries in Africa, and compare the demand and supply as well as import and export of barite in Africa.

This project seeks to study barite industry in selected African countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria and Angola to comparatively study their barite production capabilities and assess the economic viability of developing their barite mineral deposit to meet their local demand.

The economic viability of barite production in Algeria, Nigeria and Morocco had been evaluated using a constant dollar and after-tax discounted cash flow methodology.

The uses oil and gas drilling well consumption forecasted for a ten-year period in the economic analysis.


Barite comprised of barium sulphate is a common mineral used by oil and gas companies in their drilling activities.

It is used in the drilling fluids to maintain the pressure in the well during drilling and to prevent the influx of unwanted fluids from the formation.

Barite is preferred to other substitutes because of its unique physical and chemical properties. In 2017, 8.6 million tonnes of barite were produced worldwide with China, Indian and Morocco as the leading producers.

USA remains the leading importer of barite thus consuming about 28% of the worldwide production 2.4 million tonnes in 2017 (The Barytes Association, 2019).

Hole stabilization is required for successful drilling of oil and gas wells. To control the bottom hole pressure for a smooth drilling operation, drilling fluids are pumped into the hole via tubes to serve as counter weights to down hole formation pressures and as conduits for mud cuttings.

Barite forms part of the composition of the drilling fluid as a weighting agent as a result of its density. According to Intercontinental Mining (2019), the amount of barite required for drilling activity depends on the depth of the hole;

The rock drilling conditions which is reflected in the competency and geological and structural textures of rock formations such as fractures, faults, and hole pressures. On the average drilling a 300 m hole will consume 40 metric tonnes of barite.


American Petroleum Institute. (2010). API Specification 13A. Purchasing Guidelines Handbook, (August 2010), 7–58 pp.

Angola Mining Tax Guide (2017), PKF, Accessed: 055580

Asian Development Bank (1998). Guidelines for the Economic Analysis of Projects (Vol. 25).

Baker Hughes (2018), Rig Counts. Accessed: march-2018-rig-counts

British Geological Survey. (2005). Mineral Profile: Barytes. Retrieved from,                (September). Retrieved from

Brobst D.A (1970) Bedded and Stratiform Barite Deposit: Geologic and Grade-Tonnage Data Including a Partial Acta Mineralogical—Petrographic, Szeged, XXV¡2. 157—161 pp.

Comments are closed.

Hey Hi

Don't miss this opportunity

Enter Your Details