Information is required from the reservoir to enable more efficient drilling. One way of collecting this information is by using Mud Logging Services. The process involves recording chemical characteristics of drilling fluid (mud) and well drill cuttings that are produced during drilling. By analyzing this information, the presence of hydrocarbons can be identified, and by linking this to the known depth engineers are able to better locate hydrocarbon-bearing formations. In addition to this, Mud Logging Services provide real-time drilling information useful to the drilling engineer and well site geologists.
Real-time drilling information such as rate of penetration, pump rate and pressure, weight on bit, mud weight and volumes are recorded using sensors on the mud logging equipment whilst samples of fluids and cuttings are collected at the surface for analysis by mud log technicians. Once collected, visual knowledge of earth geology is a critical skill in order to label and correlate the samples correctly. Liquids, on the other hand, are analyzed based on fluorescent and chloride content. A gas chromatograph captures gases from the well. If the chromatograph shows any signs of gas, it may serve as evidence of hydrocarbons as well as indicate potential danger. All the information collected provides a useful insight into the well, to avoid problems and execute the most efficient drilling process.
Mud Logging Services at the most basic level may be in the form of simple gas detection. At the most complex level, a full laboratory and crew may be established on the rig. With a full laboratory and crew, valuable data can be collected to impact on the drilling path.
The average cost of the Mud Logging Services is less than 2% of the total well cost.