Adding fluid chemicals and drilling mud testing increases productivity since equipment breakdowns can be predicted and prevented before they even occur. This saves the oil companies time and money because these precautions practically eliminate the possibility of a shutdown during work hours. |
So what do these terms mean? Sometimes the terms drilling fluids and drilling mud are used interchangeably; however, there is a bit of a difference. Drilling mud is made by combining dirt and clay with the drilling fluids, which are chemicals. This mixture is pumped into holes to flush out the bit cuttings that are formed as the machinery bores into the various layers of sediment. These fluids can withstand the high pressure while cooling the bit and simultaneously placing a support between the walls of the hole and the casing of the bit.
The types of fluids used are different chemical compounds and lubricants. These fluids are made of strong materials that can provide a bit of friction and excessive lubrication at the same time. It is important that the fluid does not corrode under pressure. The high temperature surrounding the bit can eventually ruin it, so it is important that the chemical fluid provides an adequate barrier. If the bit were to be destroyed, all work would have to be stopped until it was changed, so it is important to make it last as long as possible. Having to stop and change the bit wastes time and can halt productivity, which can be costly.
While the mud circulates through the system, still mixed with the chemical fluids, an engineer will measure the composition while drilling to make sure it is still at the desired consistency and that it maintains a uniform set of properties. This is called drilling mud testing. During this process, the existing properties can be easily determined by examining the shavings left by the bit, as these shavings will exist if the tool is in need of more lubricant. Bits that are wearing out too soon will leave different types of shavings in the mixture which will be detected during the examination. If the sample indicates that the compound has not stayed consistent within specific parameters, the bit can malfunction. If the bit is determined to be worn out, the solution is to add more fluid or other types of chemicals to balance the composition to protect it.
Drilling mud testing is a precautionary step to ensure that all processes and machinery are operating as they should be.
To learn more about options for drilling mud testing, visit http://wilksir.com/applications/oil-in-water-soil-testing/oil-in-drill-cuttings.html.
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