Drilling mud is an admixture of fluid, bentonite, polymers and additives that give the slurry properties that enable easier drilling. Used extensively in the oil, gas sectors where vertical and horizontal drilling is common, and where large diameter auger drilling is conducted, drilling mud has evolved over many decades. Today it is possible to utilise a largely synthetic-based drilling mud but the bentonite-based muds remain popular.

Drilling Mud can be made in various ways but bentonite must be added to the water first, and only later are polymers and then additives added to the slurry. 60g/litre (2-3%) bentonite is a common point of departure. A Marsh funnel score of 35 seconds is similarly a good starting point if the bentonite received varies cross manufacturers or a switch from one type to another is required.

Many things can influence the drilling mud’s performance, from the quality of the commencement water (pH, Hardness) and top-up water; water temperature; amount of bentonite added; and the properties of bentonite added.

Yellowstar Bentonite can supply a fine or coarse bentonite to drilling companies who require a cost effective bentonite solution to their projects. Petroleum Engineers and other industry professionals can contact us to discuss this further.