Mario Zamora, Dan JeffersonM I Drilling Fluids Co. Houston A new method for tracking drilling fluid density variations helps detect barite sag, which may contribute to drilling problems. The method is based in part on continuously measuring fluid density during the first circulation after the fluid has been static for some time. In deviated wells or wells with weighted fluids, barite sag has aggravated or caused drilling problems such as lost circulation, stuck pipe, high torque and drag, poor cement jobs, logging difficulties, and well control difficulties. Sag is defined as a significant variation in mud density measured dur...

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