Drilling Mud - Formulation, Selection & Maintenance - PTRL5012

Faculty: Faculty of Engineering

School: School of Petroleum Engineering

Course Outline:

Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4

CSS Contribution Charge: 2 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

View course information for previous years.


Students in this course will be given a thorough understanding in the classification of mud systems and the roles of different mud additives, their chemistry and interactions. Students will then learn how to implement this knowledge to aid in the design, maintenance, and development of an efficient mud system for a given drilling scenario by varying mud composition (to achieve optimum rheological and physical mud properties).
Course covers: Basics of water- and oil-based drilling and completion fluids. API mud properties & testing procedures and chemical analysis. Clay and polymer chemistry and their applications to drilling fluid formulations. Classification and structure of clays. Hydration mechanism of clays. Cation exchange capacity of clays and influence on clay properties. Rheology of clay suspensions, yield of clay. Structure and properties of polymers used in drilling fluids. Fluid-loss additives. Viscosifying agents. Surface active agents used in drilling fluids. Drilling fluid filtration - bridging mechanism, filtration-control materials and techniques, prevention of formation damage, filtration effect on drilling rate. API mud properties. Mud systems and treatments for hole conditions - torque and drag, stuck pipe, lost circulation and borehole instability. Prevention of corrosion. Mud program design - Mud weight, weighting materials, and mud weight calculations.
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