Drilling Fluid Companies – How Do Their Products Work? Reviewed by Momizat on . Thanks to advances in drilling technologies, we are now able to drill much deeper, for longer periods of time and in more challenging environments. We are able Thanks to advances in drilling technologies, we are now able to drill much deeper, for longer periods of time and in more challenging environments. We are able Rating: 0
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Drilling Fluid Companies – How Do Their Products Work?

Thanks to advances in drilling technologies, we are now able to drill much deeper, for longer periods of time and in more challenging environments. We are able to do so thanks to effective and efficient drilling fluids. These fluids, also known as drilling muds, are first added to a wellbore. This makes it possible to suspend cuttings, to stabilize exposed rocks, to control pressure, to cool and lubricate and to provide buoyancy.

Interestingly, drilling fluids aren’t new. We know they existed in around 300 B.C., when the Chinese used water to help saturate the ground before they started to drill for hydrocarbons. However, the expression “mud” didn’t get used until much later, when drillers started to make a herd of cattle run through a field that was full of water. The mud that was created was used to lubricate the parts of the drill. This happened in Spindletop, and the expression stuck until now.

Of course, the chemistry and technology behind these muds is now incredibly complex. However, the concept in itself is exactly the same as when the Chinese used it all those years ago. Without drilling fluids, it would be impossible to finish a successful drill. Furthermore, it helps to maximize the period of recovery and it minimizes how long it takes for the first oil to be reached.

drilling fluid companies

The Purpose of Drilling Fluid

When a drilling is taking place, a cutting is first created. Cuttings don’t create any problems, but once drilling stops because there is a failure or because the drill bit has worn down, issues can suddenly occur. If drilling fluids aren’t used at this time, the cuttings will immediately fill the hole back up. Drilling fluid increases in viscosity as soon as there is a reduction in the movement. Hence, when drilling happens, it is almost liquid but when it stops, it is almost solid. This means that cutting can be paused until the drill is placed back, and work can then continue from the same place, as the gel simply liquefies again.

There is more to it than that as well. The pressure in a well is also controlled by the drilling fluid. This is because the pressure of the rock formations and the hydrocarbons is offset against the pressure of the fluid. The fluid has been mixed with various weighing agents in order to make it denser, and this adds pressure the well’s walls.

Furthermore, it stabilizes the rocks. Various additives are included in drilling fluid mixtures so that the rock is unable to absorb it. As the pores within the rock do not get clogged, they remain stable, which means they won’t collapse during drilling or periods of rest either.

As the well gets deeper, the pipe that is needed for drilling becomes longer. This involves very heavy weights, but drill fluid is also buoyant. This means that stress on the pipe is significantly reduced, avoiding breakages because there is less friction between the pipe and the formation of the rock. Hence, less heat is produced, which, in turn, reduces the chance of fires.

As you can see, drilling fluid companies have a very important role to play in the industry.

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