BDA Webinar – March 2021 – Drilling Fluids, how why and when?

March 12, 2021

The latest British Drilling Association (BDA) Webinar took place 11th March 2021 and looked at the engaging topic of “Drilling fluids, how why and when?”

Presented by Frank Ooms, CEBO Holland, the webinar began with a look at what makes a drilling fluid and the additives – soda ash, bentonite, polymers, surfactants, and lost circulation materials, before moving on to look at drilling fluid properties individually.

Specifically, Frank examined what are fluid properties and why there is a need to test them. From viscosity, rheology, filtration, density, sand content through to calcium hardness and pH, each property was examined in detail, and as well as the properties they confer to the drilling fluids. Frank explained how each is measured or tested, as well as why it is important to know and test for each property to understand their impact on the drilling fluid. Visuals of the different testing equipment for each drilling fluid property were shown too.

Frank then moved on with the statement – “There is no universal drilling fluid” and there is “no universal soil”. With this bold comment, Frank explained the properties of different types of soil, ranging from fine through to course – and what each requires from drilling fluids given the sliding scale between the two extremes and the problems they can present to drilling. For example, he spoke how coarse soils present mechanical-type problems, which therefore require mechanical-type solutions.

Fluid to formation ratio was then discussed for the various types of formation, and how the ratio various according to the increasing amount of clay and reactive shale. Drilling speed calculation was also touched up and how it is not applicable when using a charge pump.

The presentation concluded with a great ‘questions and answers’ session, which highlighted just how fascinating the topic is.

To view the webinar, visit –

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