SPECIAL REPORT: New synthetic-based muds allow more complex wells

Guntis MoritisProduction EditorImprovements in drilling muds allow the oil and gas industry to complete more complicated wells in a more environmentally friendly manner.These muds remain stable at higher temperatures and pressures as well as have properties that reduce the chance of stuck pipe when drilling through depleted zones that create a large pressure differential between the formation and the fluid in the drill pipe.The industry continues to develop water-based muds (WBMs) with a greater performance range but for harsher drilling environments; the industry still mainly depends on synthetic-based muds (SBMs). Fig. 1 compares some performance characteristics of various muds.Shell Ch...

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