You can’t work without it. Drilling fluids (drilling mud) are essential to for oil extraction. They aid in the borehole drilling process, lubricating the drill bit while helping bring drill cuttings to the surface.

 Drilling Fluids

Courtesy-Blastcube at en.wikipedia

There are of course different types of fluids for various operations.

1) Water-based uses fresh or sea water in environmentally sensitive regions or off shore rigs.

2) Oil-based fluids are used in shale deposits and typically contain diesel, mineral or synthetic oil.

3) Gas-based fluids are a fixture in stable formations to speed the drilling process. They are made up of natural gas, air or air and water foam

To make the fluids more efficient various compounds are added. They can be something as simple as coconut oil or recycled newsprint to one of about 250 chemicals.

As a result, it’s key operators and service companies take proactive steps to ensure workers are safe and the environment is protected.

Start with equipment that keeps drilling floors and rigs clean.  Doing this helps ensure your employees have a safe place to work. Next it’s important to protect the environment and make sure that drilling fluid doesn’t hit the ground. The ability to recover the drilling mud and reuse it can save companies money.

The ability to do all this helps ensure a company’s reputation is intact and it’s social license is secure.

In case you are wondering what happens to the cuttings and mud/fluids after the job is done, there are a number of uses for it. It has been used to stabilize surfaces susceptible to erosion including roads and drilling pads. Cuttings can also be used as aggregate or filler in concrete, brick or block manufacturing. Thermally treated, drill cuttings can also be used as construction material in road pavements or as fill material and daily cover material at landfills.

Studies are now being done to see if  the cuttings can be used as a substrate for restoring coastal wetlands, or as a power plant fuel.

To find out how your company can improve the bottom line while protecting lives and Mother Earth check Katch Kan’s Zero Spill System and Rig Safety System.


Sources: Energy Global Oilfield technology, Environmental ProtectionRigzone, Petrowiki, Oil & Gas Lawyer blog