Unusual methods treat Russian drilling mud losses

In the oil fields of the Volga-Urals and Near-Caspian basin regions, Russian drillers use determinative methods and plug-back systems to treat lost-circulation zones.Much of the difficulty lies in the nature of the lithology where fluids exit into fissured and cavernous carbonate rocks.Once circulation is lost, the typical practice is to change from clay-based to water-based drilling muds, then continue drilling blind (without returns) until the casing string is run. During this process, however, the cavings that drop out, settle to the bottom of the hole, in thicknesses up to 30-50 ft, hindering further deepening. Thus, potential problems associated with stuck drillstrings become distinc...

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