Industry Article: Advanced Oil-Based, Synthetic Muds Enable Deeper, Hotter Wells

Amid increasingly difficult drilling challenges, operators look to only the best drilling fluids – irrespective of cost

Drilling Contractor Thumbnail Image
Publication: Drilling Contractor
Volume: July/August
Issue: 2012
Publication Date: 07/02/2012

Beyond the hardware required for today’s complex wells and state-of-the-art drilling and completion systems, advanced fluid technologies are keeping pace, making a high-profile entry to the marketplace in response to operators’ needs to get wells online faster, with higher rates of penetration (ROP) and cleaner operations. Lubricity and viscosity are the watchwords of this sector, with the continued emergence of sophisticated water-based mud (WBM) and synthetic-based fluids that are delivering both economic and environmental benefits in regions ranging from unconventional shale plays to deepwater to extreme high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) environments. The growing complexity of openhole completions is driving the development of advanced filter cake removers, or breakers, that provide better control. Openhole completions are becoming longer, so inflow control devices and swellable packers come into play to provide zonal isolation to enable production from all the segments of the reservoir that have been drilled or contacted.

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