Drilling mud or drilling fluid, is a liquid used in drilling. The mud is stored in tanks within the drilling package. When drilling starts, it is pumped to the drill floor, down through the drill string and out through the drill bit. It then gets pushed back up to the drill floor, cleaned of solids and pumped back to the mud tanks to continue its continuous circulation.
Drilling fluids are used to:
- Clean the well bore by bringing the cuttings back to the drill floor.
- Stop the well bore from collapsing .
- Counterbalancing the force of hydrocarbons and preventing licks and blowouts.
To further facilitate in the counterbalancing of hydrocarbons encountered within the well bore, mud can be weighted with substances like barite. The exact weight and composition of the mud or drilling fluid will be decided by the Mud Engineer.