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Drilling Fluid Properties ǀ Salunda

Drilling fluid, often referred to as drilling mud, is essential during oil and natural gas drilling. There are three main types of drilling fluid: Water based muds, oil-based muds and gaseous drilling fluid.

Drilling fluids have several important roles to play in drilling operations:

  • Exert a higher pressure than that of the liquids within the formations which are penetrated by the drill bit to prevent liquids from the formation rocks flowing into the well
  • Carry out rock excavated by the drill bit to the surface and suspend the drill cuttings whilst drilling is paused
  • Cool and lubricate during drilling operations to improve the efficiency of drilling and increase the life span of the drill bit
  • Provide buoyancy

Each mud type is designed to have different properties which are useful when drilling through different types of formations.

Oil based muds are one of the most commonly used:

  • During deep hole drilling, when drilling fluid is likely to be exposed to very high temperatures where water-based mud would likely dehydrate
  • When drilling through tricky shales that may swell and disperse in water based mud
  • To prevent cuttings sticking to reduce the risk of stuck pipe, torque and drag

Oil based drilling fluid is expensive to produce and difficult to dispose of after use, so is normally recycled. It is the job of a mud engineer to take samples of the drilling fluid which is bought to the surface and take measurements of the composition. This information is then used to add drilling mud additives to maintain the required composition for optimum drilling.

Salunda’s MudChecker unit provides mud engineers with a quick and reliable way of measuring the oil, water and solid percentage and salt within the drilling fluid. The handheld device takes just a few minutes to provide accurate, repeatable results which can be imported into Salunda’s accompanying software. Results can then be exported either as an individual CSV file or as a batch download for further analysis and data manipulation. This means mud engineers can carry out more frequent testing of the drilling fluid; improving efficiencies and reducing the risk of non-production time.

To find out more on how Salunda’s MudChecker could assist in your drilling operations visit the MudChecker product page or contact us via our contact form.

 

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