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A significant performance gap exists between Water-Based drilling Muds (WBM) and standard Invert Emulsion Muds (IEM). WBMs fall behind in shale inhibition, wellbore stability, ROP, and fluid stability, making oil- and synthetic-based drilling muds the technical choice for drilling demanding wells. However, more rigid environmental restrictions, coupled deepwater drilling challenges, have encouraged further WBM development.
A number of extensive R&D investigations into shale inhibition, cuttings accretion, lubricity, cuttings encapsulation and ROP with WBM have resulted in a new WBM that approaches the flexibility and performance of invert emulsion muds. The high-performance WBM overcomes the shortfalls of previous WBMs by focusing on drilling performance as well as shale inhibition.
IEMs have always been the choice when drilling demanding wells that require highly inhibitive mud. They are recognized as the most efficient drilling muds, because there is no contact between the drilled formations and water. Additional IEM advantages include:...
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