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  • Drilling advances


    Les Skinner, Contributing Editor

    Drilling mud boiling up in a pit fascinates me. One could say I am mesmerized by it. I just like to see fluid moving-it’s very therapeutic. Soft billows of brown mud flowing gently to the surface. Ah, the pleasure, the rapture. Then, I recall my days mixing mud through the hopper. What a pain! I recall the sacks, bulk volumes and strange chemicals the mud man and his best buddy, the toolpusher, forced us to mix through the working pit. The revelation strikes home that drilling muds are not like flowing rivers. They are, in fact, workhorses. Their residence in the pit system is only temporary. They will soon be sucked in by massive pumps and returned to their chaotic, high pressure job downhole. We all know that mud is required to carry out cuttings, lubricate the drillstring and cool the bit, along with providing extra hydraulic horsepower through the bit nozzles.

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