All three products are used in water based oil well drilling fluids (muds).
Water based drilling mud is more environmentally friendly.
The cuttings can be dewatered more easily than removing the alternative drilling fluid made with diesel fuel. Cuttings with potassium can be disposed of on the ground where regulations prohibit sodium.
In drilling muds sodium aluminate provides alumina which reacts with the minerals and clays in the cuttings and along side of the bore hole.
The alkalinity also dissolves silica in situ which provides the same function. The chemical reaction between the minerals in the shaft and the sodium aluminate preserves and stabilizes the shaft until a pipe can be inserted and cement applied between the pipe and the drill shaft.
Liquid and granular sodium aluminates are used in many industrial cement applications.
Oilfield cement is used between the borehole and the casing to stabilization and prevention of oil coming to surface on the outside. Oilfied cements are also used in lost circulation applications. The primary function of the sodium aluminate is to speeds the set.