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Basic Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology

Basic Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology

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Published by: vaibhav on Nov 25, 2009
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11/14/2013

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Drilling is accomplished by rotating the drill string by means of a power-driven rotary table
or Top Drive System, with a bit attached to the bottom of the pipe. The bit cuts and breaks
up rock material as it penetrates the formation.

Error: Reference source not found, shows the mud circulatory system. Drilling fluid or mud
is pumped from the mud suction pit (1) by the mud pumps (2) through a discharge line to a
standpipe (3). The standpipe is a steel pipe mounted vertically on one side of the mast.
From the standpipe the mud passes through a reinforced rubber hose, called the kelly
hose or rotary hose. This is connected to the swivel via the gooseneck. As the mud
enters the swivel (4) it flows down the drill stem (5 and 6) and exits at the bit.

Drilling fluid swirls in the bottom of the hole picking up material broken by the bit, and then
flows upward in the annulus (space between the walls of the hole and the drill pipe),
carrying the cuttings to the surface and clearing the hole (7). The drill pipe and bit deepen
the hole as the operation proceeds.

At the surface, drilling mud flows into the shakers (8) and into a ditch to a settling
pit where the cuttings settle to the bottom (9). From the settling pit the fluid
overflows into the mud suction pit from which it is picked up through the
suction hose of the mud pump (2) and recirculated through the drill pipe. In the
rotary drilling method the casing pipe is not introduced until after the drilling
operations are completed. The walls of the hole are held in place by the
pressure of the mud pump against the sides of the hole.

4.3.2Functions of Drilling Fluids

Initially, the primary purposes of drilling fluids were to clean, cool and lubricate the bit and
continuously remove cuttings from the borehole. But today what started as a simple fluid
has become a complicated mixture of liquids, solids and chemicals for which mud
engineers are contracted by the operating company to maintain. Today, the drilling fluid
must permit the securing of all information necessary for evaluating the productive
possibilities of the formations penetrated. The fluids' characteristics must be such that
good cores, wireline logs and drill returns logs can be obtained.

Numerous types of mud are available for various hole conditions. Factors such as depth,
types of formations, local structural conditions, etc., all enter into the choice of a particular
mud. A drilling fluid must fulfill many functions in order for a well to be drilled successfully,
safely, and economically. The functions and corresponding properties of a drilling mud
are:

1.Remove drilled cuttings from the borehole (viscosity)

2.Carry and release the cuttings at the surface (viscosity/gel strength)

3.Suspend cuttings and weight material in suspension when circulation is stopped
(gel strength)

4.Release cuttings when processed by surface equipment

5.Allow cuttings to settle out at the surface

6.Control subsurface pressures (mud density)

7.Prevent the borehole from collapsing or caving in (mud density)

8.Protect producing formations from damage that could impair production

9.Clean, cool, and lubricate the drill bit and drill string. This is the simplest and one
of the most essential duties of drilling mud (additive content)

10.Seal porous and permeable zones with an impermeable filter cake (water loss)

11.Help support part of the weight of the drill string/casing (density)

12.Ensure maximum information from the formation drilled

13.Do all of the above, without damage to the circulation system or upon the
formation adjacent to the hole

Occasionally, these functions require the drilling fluid to act in conflicting ways. It can be
seen that items #1-3 are best served if the drilling fluid has a high viscosity, whereas items
#4-5 are best accomplished with a low viscosity. Items #6 & 8 are often mutually exclusive
because drilled solids will tend to pack into the pore spaces of a producing formation.

4.3.2.1Controlling Subsurface Pressures

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