Designing the Drilling Fluid

In selecting the most suitable type of drilling fluid, many different factors must be considered. Overall what is required is a mud system that gives the lowest overall cost of drilling each hole section, except for through the reservoir. The direct cost of the fluid itself (the cost per barrel of mud) is but one component of this overall cost. If serious hole problems occur because the mud was not optimized for the formations in an effort to “save money,” obviously much more money will be spent than would have been saved on the mud bill.

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Fundamentals of Drilling Fluids

A major component in drilling operation success is drilling fluid performance. The cost of searching for hydrocarbon reserves becomes more expensive when drilling occurs offshore, in deep water, and in hostile environments. These drilling environments require fluids that excel in performance. Measuring fluid performance requires the evaluation of all key drilling parameters and their associated cost. Simply stated, the effectiveness of a fluid is judged by its influence on overall well cost. This chapter discusses the various fundamentals of drilling fluids and their performance in assuring a safe and expeditious drilling operation at minimum overall cost.

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