Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an ionic compound with the formula NaCl, representing equal proportions of sodium and chloride.
In addition to the familiar domestic uses of salt, more dominant applications of the approximately 250 megatons/year production (2008 data) include chemicals and de-icing.
Sodium chloride is heavily used, so even miscellaneous applications can consume massive quantities. In oil and gas exploration, salt is an important component of drilling fluids in well drilling. It is used to flocculate and increase the density of the drilling fluid to overcome high downwell gas pressures. Whenever a drill hits a salt formation, salt is added to the drilling fluid to saturate the solution and to minimize the dissolution within the salt stratum. Salt is also used to increase the curing of concrete in cemented casings.
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