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.
A complete replacement of oil-based mud with other mud types provides the largest reduction in discharges of oil-contaminated cuttings to the sea compared to any other solutions.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A DRILLING MUD?
The purpose of a drilling mud can be broken into nine basic functions:
In the drilling process, mud materials (barite, water, treating chemicals, etc) are mixed almost continuously to maintain desired mud properties. Drilling mud usage is defined as the volume of mud that is lost with the
drilling operation. This should be contrasted with mud consumption which is the total volume of mud created to support the drilling operation.