Equipment upgrades minimize drillstring fluid losses

Several Canadian and U.S. onshore drilling contractors successfully reduced drilling-fluid losses during pipe-handling operations by installing mud-bucket/spill-tray assemblies, vacuum systems, integrated rig-floor troughs, and splash guards.In addition to obvious environmental benefits including dry rig locations, cost control and safety issues continue to provide strong incentives for upgrading fluid-containment systems.Wet drillstringsTripping operations produce large losses of drillstring fluids when not captured and returned to the active mud system. For example, if a crew drills into gumbo shale, resulting in plugged drill-bit jets, the entire drillstring must be pulled "wet," resul...

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