How Drilling Fluids Work?

How Drilling Fluids Work? - Novamen

What are Drilling Fluids?

Drilling Fluids, also commonly referred to as ‘Drilling Muds’, are widely used in the exploration and recovery of natural resources such as oil and gas drilling operations. More specifically, drilling liquid solutions are heavy solvent mixtures specially formulated to assist in the cutting process of drilling operations.

What are some ways that drilling fluids may be able to assist with the process of drilling operations? 

Drilling muds primarily function as multipurpose solutions including:

  • lubricating drills at work sites
  • cooling of the drill bit
  • collecting and removing cuttings from the wellbore
  • …and more

In addition, drilling muds provide the necessary hydrostatic pressure to keep formation fluids out of the wellbores created. It should be noted, however, that different drilling fluids work best for different types of drilling projects.

3 Types of Drilling Fluids

There are three distinctive types of drilling muds used in oil and gas drilling operations, including: water-based, oil-based and synthetic-based solutions. The most commonly used type would be water-based, for they are generally sufficient when it comes to drill cuttings positioned vertically in medium depths.

Drilling fluids are produced using freshwater, saltwater and/or other brines. Over the years, improved technology and advances in science have allowed for research to find the optimal balance in viscosity, gelling and filtration levels for all types of drilling operations.

Why Use Fresh Water-Based Drilling Fluids?

Fresh water-based drilling fluids require a high-quality bentonite (an absorbent clay filler created from volcanic ash) which helps significantly in achieving the most ideal levels of viscosity, gelling and filtration.

These properties are crucial to the effectiveness of the final drilling fluid product; fresh water-based drilling fluids can help transfer cuttings, widen the borehole and assist in stabilizing the work site. According to experts, water-based drilling fluids are generally considered to have the least amount of impact on the environment and are less expensive.

Throughout the years, drilling fluids companies have developed unique formulas improving on the tried and true methods and ingredients used in traditional drilling fluids. As a result, Novamen Inc. offers some of the most effective and innovative drilling fluids in the market.

Introducing: Bentonite Super Gel-X

Bentonite Super Gel-X® is a water based drilling fluid produced from the highest grade, sodium-ionized bentonite found in Wyoming. Super Gel-X is one of the most popular solutions in the market for drilling fluids, which includes features such as:

  • viscosity improves cleaning of the borehole
  • suspension for weighting material (used to increase density)
  • filtration control via thin filter created with zero permeability
  • cooling and lubricating of the drill bit
  • mixes quickly and easily

When are Oil- and Synthetic-Based Drilling Fluids Used?

Synthetic- and oil-based muds typically lubricate better than water-based mud. They also clean better and can withstand greater heat without breaking down. However, they are more expensive and more difficult to dispose of appropriately. Both oil- and synthetic-based muds commonly add water, bentonite, diesel, emulsifiers and barite in order to create the viscosity and weight required.

Emulsifiers and detergents increase the lubricity, buoyancy and friction-minimizing effects of the synthetic fluids.

Synthetic drilling muds are most often used on offshore rigs as the fumes are much less toxic than oil-based muds, an important factor when working in enclosed spaces such as offshore drilling rigs

For More Information on Drilling Fluids

To learn more about other products Novamen has to offer for oilfield drilling, please visit our product catalogue listing by clicking here.

If you would like to speak with a drilling fluid specialist today, contact Novamen via email ( or through our toll-free number at 1-833-348-5956.

Novamen Inc. is happy to provide you with the customer care, resources and information you’ll need to ensure a smooth drilling operation.

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