Drilling mud solutions: Cracking the shale code

Drilling Fluids Contractor
Publication: Drilling Contractor
Volume: July/August
Issue: 2011
Publication Date: 08/29/2011

All North American shale plays are not created equal, which translates to specific drilling fluids needs to match the unique requirements of each play. Operators in the US shale plays are getting some help from drilling fluid suppliers that are customizing fluids to prevent dreaded hydration of the shales while drilling and running casing. Service companies are also addressing the environmental issues associated with shale plays, including the need to move away from oil-base muds (OBM) and to reduce the need for fluids and cuttings disposals. M-I SWACO has developed water-base muds (WBM) and is working on completely biodegradable synthetic-base muds. For the Marcellus Shale, M-I SWACO has developed a low-cost WBM formulation with good lubricity.

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