Oil & Gas Training
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    Oil and Gas Training Courses SLB NEXT

    Mud School - European Learning Center

    The course will be held at SLB's European Learning Center (ELC) training facility in Melun, France.

    The core content of this course will cover all the main pillars of drilling fluids activities linked to drilling and completion operations, with safety best practices being a primary focus throughout the course.

    Building from MI-SWACO segment knowledge and expertise, this course will be articulated around detailed theoretical knowledge for drilling fluids (both WBM and OBM) and completion fluids, followed by hands on practical experiments in a dedicated laboratory environment.

    During the laboratory sessions, the instructor will set step by step learning objectives for the participants, in order to capitalize from the acquired theoretical knowledge. The laboratory is fully equipped for Water and Oil based fluids applications with twelve well equipped training stations.  As an overall indication, the course content will be around 60% theoretical and 40% practical with experiments in the training laboratory.

    Day 1

    School Induction and Drilling Fluid Functions

    Safety and Evacuation procedures - Presentation of the training center and training program.
    Identify the 13 functions of drilling fluids.
    Identify special uses of drilling fluids. 

    Day 2

    Basic Chemistry of Drilling Fluids

    Define the various states and classifications of matter.
    Explain the differences between p
    ure substances and compounds.
    Define the following terms: element, atom, and molecule.
    Identify valence, ionic bonds, and hydrogen bonds. Define solubility and identify factors that influence it.
    Define and explain the characteristics of acids and bases.
    Identify various chemical tests and titrations used in each.

    Day 3

    Clay Chemistry and Composition

    Identify various clay types.
    Explain the importance of clays present in drilling fluids.
    Describe a clay platelet basic structure.
    Explain cation exchange capacity (CEC) and how it affects clay hydration.
    Explain electronegativity and bonding.
    Identify the four states of clay particles.
    Identify factors affecting bentonite yield.

    Day 4

    Polymers and Their Function

    Define the terms: monomer, polymer, and copolymer.
    Define degree of polymerization, formula weight and molecular weight.
    Explain how a polymer’s degree of polymerization, molecular weight, and chain length affect its function.
    Explain various ways polymers can be utilized in drilling fluids.
    Describe the three kinds of polymer structures: linear, branched, and cross-linked.
    Explain how a polymer’s molecular weight and chain length can affect the function.
    Define a polymer’s degree of substitution and recognize the impact it has on water solubility.
    List and describe the three polymer classifications (based on origin): natural, modified natural, and synthetic.
    Describe various factors that should be monitored for proper maintenance, testing and treatment.

    Day 5


    Define viscosity, shear stress, and shear rate.
    Define effective viscosity, apparent viscosity, plastic viscosity and yield point.
    Identify different viscosity types.
    Explain the effect of impact solids and surface area on viscosity.
    Identify factors affecting the plastic viscosity.
    Identify factors affecting yield point.

    Day 6

    Standard Mud Tests with Lab Session

    Identify where temperature is taken during mud testing and temperature requirements of certain tests.
    Define mud weight and identify the mud balance.
    Identify the Marsh funnel and define funnel viscosity.
    Identify the VG meter (viscosity and gel meter) and explain how it is used to calculate plastic viscosity and yield point.
    Identify the API and HTHP filter press and define filter cake.
    Identify a retort and explain what it is used for.
    Identify components of a sand content kit and explain how it is utilized to determine sand content.
    Identify the Methylene Blue Test and explain how it is performed to determine the amount of reactive solids.
    Identify pH and two primary ways to measure it.
    Identify basic tests for alkalinity, chlorides, and total hardness.

    Become familiar with the procedures and equipment for performing the physical and chemical tests used to complete an API drilling mud report.

    Day 7

    Composition of Water Based Drilling Fluids with Lab Session

     Identify the three phases of water-base mud.
    List various fluids that can comprise the water phase and the benefits associated with each.
    Define reactive solids. Explain how they can enter the mud system and what effect they have on drilling fluid properties.
    Define inert solids. Explain how they can enter the mud system and what effect they have on drilling fluid properties.
    Define low gravity solids and high gravity solids.
    List soluble chemical additives and explain their application in drilling fluids.

    Observe and explain qualitative / quantitative changes to base mud’s properties from various contaminants and treatments.

    Day 8

    Water Based Systems and Additives

    Explain why a drilling fluid system is typically changed during the drilling operation.
    Identify various drilling fluid system classifications.
    List factors that affect drilling fluid selection.
    Given a specific mud weight for water-base muds, determine the proper ranges for plastic viscosity, yield point, and possible Methylene Blue test values.
    Explain the function of various drilling fluid additives.
    List the primary systems discussed within this chapter and commonly used in the industry today.
    Explain the primary differences between each system regarding the system’s: (1) primary role, (2) composition, (3) unique characteristics.

    Day 9

    High Perfomance and HPHT Water Based Muds with Lab Session

    A comparison between the improved benefits of a high performance WBM vs a conventional WBM like Inhibition, hole cleaning, ROP, etc. and the their advantages against the Oil/Synthetic base mud limitations like environmental regulations, availability, cost etc.

    Observe properties of filtered and unfiltered seawater, observe how chemical values change with pH changes, and graph select data points.

    Day 10

    Filtration Control with Lab Session

    Define filtration and explain the difference between static and dynamic filtration.
    Identify the drilling fluid functions that apply to filtration.
    Define filter cake and explain how it is affected by fluid loss rate and the solids present in the mud.
    Identify the two basic tests utilized to determine fluid loss.
    Identify the factors affecting filtration.
    Define sorting, porosity, and permeability.
    Explain how high fluid loss and solids content affects the filter cake composition.
    Explain how filtration can damage the formation.
    Identify the two main methods of solids control.

    Study filtration properties, factors that influence filtration rates, and effects of various filtration control additives.

    Day 11

    Mud Contamination and Treatment with Lab Session

    Define a drilling fluid contaminant and explain its role in drilling operations.
    Explain the difference between treating a contaminant, tolerating it, and not treating it.
    List several factors that may impact the severity of contamination.
    Identify common drilling fluid contaminants including: cement, gypsum/anhydrite, magnesium, carbonates and bicarbonates, hydrogen sulfide, and solids (Low Gravity Solids and fine).
    List the sources of these contaminants and how each can enter the drilling fluid system.
    Describe the effects each contaminant has on physical and chemical mud properties.
    Explain how to identify each contaminant (via primary indicators) and how to effectively treat or tolerate each.
    Identify a contaminant based on property changes between a base mud check (before contamination) and a contaminated fluid’s mud check.

    Observe the effects of contaminating a lightly treated mud; treat the mud to return the properties close to their original values.

    Day 12

    Lost Circulation with Lab Session - Basic Mud Check

    Define lost circulation and list adverse effects.
    Define the two basic mechanisms of losses, natural and induced, and the primary causes of each.
    List three classifications of losses and how much mud is lost with each.
    Identify types of lost circulation materials.Explain how to determine the location of the loss zone.
    List various ways to regain circulation.
    Explain the two primary ways to strengthen the wellbore: chemical and mechanical.
    Explain how a stress cage works.
    List ways to prevent lost circulation.
    Describe how to prepare and utilize various Lost Control Material pills.
    Explain basic practices whenever encountering lost circulation.

    Make a complete, accurate mud check of chemical and physical WBM properties.

    Day 13


    Define corrosion and explain how it impacts a drilling operation.
    List and describe the required components for corrosion to occur.
    Define oxidation and reduction.
    Define and explain the benefits of metallurgy.
    Identify factors that accelerate and minimize corrosion.
    List dissolved gases that cause corrosion and how to treat each one.
    Explain methods utilized to track the type and extent of corrosion in a drilling operation.
    List commercial products available to treat corrosion and explain the role of each in drilling fluids.

    Day 14

    Solids Analysis with Lab Session

    Mathematics practice analyzing data from the mud check to breakdown real solid content and distribution in the mud.
    Determine: Concentration of High Gravity Solids, Low Gravity Solids, Salt Content, Bentonite Content and Drilled Solid content. 

    This lab exercise pretends to represent how the mud will behave when drilling a well. First WBM will be built and tested, after some drilled solids will be added to see how the mud will be affected and finally will be treated accordingly to bring back in range the mud properties.

    Day 15

    Safety Data Sheets (SDS or MSDS) with Lab Session

    Define the term hazardous material.
    Identify ways hazardous material is harmful to an individual or the environment.
    Describe various methods used to communicate the specific type of threat a hazardous material presents.
    Explain what material safety data sheets (MSDS) and safety data sheets (SDS) are, the information they contain and how to find them for a given hazardous material.
    Define threshold limit value and the associated terms: time weighted average, short term exposure limit and ceiling limit.
    Explain the different sections of the Hazardous Materials Identification System and the hazard levels of each.
    List various tools and practices an individual should utilize to minimize personal risk. 

    Second exercise to reinforce the knowledge and practice for a complete, accurate mud check of chemical and physical WBM properties.

    Day 16

    Oil and Synthetic Based Mud Products and Systems

    Identify and describe the four different fluid systems.
    Define non-aqueous fluids (NAF).
    Describe the three phases of non-aqueous drilling fluids and list components of each.
    List advantages and disadvantages of using non-aqueous fluids.
    Explain how water activity affects formation swelling, the selection of saturated brines and why biocides are not used in NAFs.
    Define surfactants, Hydro Lipophilic Balance number, emulsifiers and wetting agents.
    Explain how shear affects a drilling fluid’s emulsion stability.
    Describe how you can identify if a solid is water-wet or oil-wet.
    Explain why extra surfactants should be present in drilling fluid while drilling.
    List drilling fluid tests for NAF, state how any differ from how they are performed with water-base muds.
    Describe conventional and relaxed systems and explain the difference.
    List the order of adding components when building conventional or relaxed systems.
    Correctly use various calculations for oil-base mud.
    Describe potential problems using oil-base and synthetic-base drilling fluids.
    Explain the preparations and process followed for ideal displacements.

    Day 17

    Standard Mud Tests for OBM/SBM

    Identify where the temperature is taken during mud testing and the temperature requirements of certain tests.
    Define mud weight.
    Identify the viscometer and explain how it is used to calculate the plastic viscosity and yield point.
    Identify the HTHP filter press.
    Identify a retort and explain what it is used for.
    Calculate the oil/water ratio of an oil-base mud.
    Identify the basic tests for alkalinity, chlorides, and calcium.
    Identify an electrical stability meter and explain how it is used to measure Electrical stability.
    Identify a Sand Content Kit and explain how it is utilized to determine sand content.

    Day 18

    Lab Session - Conventional and Synthetic Muds

    Build a conventional OB mud. Check properties. Describe shearing effects on specific mud properties and mud products. Compare and contrast conventional, synthetic and relaxed NAF

    Formulate and test a synthetic-based fluid. Decrease SWR by 10 points to see the effects of water on a NAF. Compare and contrast Oil-based muds to Synthetic- based muds.

    Day 19

    Lab Sessions - Oil Systems with Relaxed or High Filtrate and Megadril - All-in-one Emulsifier Package

    Build  High filtrate oil mud and check its properties. Compare its properties with the conventional OBM from previous lab experiment

    Build a MEGADRIL system and check its properties. Compare its properties to a VERSACLEAN 

    Day 20

    HPHT Challenges, Applications and Systems

    Classifying a well as High-Temperature (HT) or High-Temperature, High Pressure (HTHP) usually elevates it to a “critical and difficult” status.
    Review the key available technologies.
    Conditions representing the challenge for drilling HPHT wells
    Key factors for selecting the proper system
    Pros and Cons between WBM and OB/SBM used for HPHT wells

    Day 21

    Solid Control Equipment and Drilling Waste Management

    Explain why solids removal is one of the most important aspects of mud system control
    How solids affect adversely mud properties 
    Understand why it is not possible to remove totally drill solids
    Learn the principles used for solid control 

    Day 22

    Solid Control and Drilling Waste Management with Lab Session

    Describe the equipment used for solid control: Shale Shakers, Hydro cyclones (Desanders, Desilters), Centrifuges, Mud Cleaners.
    List the functions, conditions affecting efficiency, applications, advantages, limitations, models and new technology about all solid control equipment.

    The learning exercise includes a hands on activity with solid control equipment (Shale Shakers and Centrifuges) and a lab session to appreciate the effects of solids in the drilling fluid.

    Day 23

    Lab Sessions: Build Bentonitic Mud System, and Build a Polymer Mud System

    The exercises ask for certain mud properties, the students will need to define a formulation for a Bentonitic mud to achieve the desired properties, then will Build the WBM, test its properties and will rate the formulation.

    The exercises ask for certain mud properties, the students will need to define a formulation for a Polymeric mud to achieve the desired properties, then will Build the WBM, test its properties and will rate the formulation.

    Day 24

    Stuck Pipe Problems

    Identify the two types of stuck pipe.
    Identify the three basic mechanisms of stuck pipe.
    Explain how mechanical and human factors can be responsible for stuck pipe.
    Describe how the formation type affects the likelihood of stuck pipe.
    Explain how poor drilling fluid properties can cause stuck pipe.
    Describe how junk downhole can impact stuck pipe.
    Explain how certain drilling practices can increase the chances of stuck pipe.
    List and explain the causes of differential sticking.
    Describe various ways to prevent differential sticking.
    Explain the importance of impact time on stuck pipe.
    List various spotting fluids utilized to free differential stuck pipe.
    Interpret a stuck pipe freeing worksheet and use it in a given scenario to predict the stuck pipe mechanism.

    Day 25

    Lab Session Methylen Blue Test and Effect of Solids Content on Mud Properties

    Learn how high Methylen Blue Test and Density values affect rheology. Also students will see how high solids content affect properties of the mud.

    Day 26

    Hole Cleaning and Lab Session for WBM Problems

    State various factors that affect hole cleaning.
    Explain why approaches for optimal hole cleaning need to change in different intervals.
    Explain the difference between the three different settling types.
    Describe a wellbore’s velocity profile and how it influences hole cleaning.
    List general rules for optimal hole cleaning.

    Make a complete mud check on the mud provided. Then treat the mud to adjust the listed target properties to the specifications as per step by step instructions

    Day 27

    Reservoir Drill-in Fluids and Completion Fluids - day 1

    Describe and explain the importance of the completion phase.
    List types of formation damage that reduce a reservoir’s productivity.
    Explain the difference between drilling fluids, reservoir drill-in fluids, and completion fluids and the role of each. List considerations when selecting a completion fluid or reservoir drill-in fluid.

    Day 28

    Reservoir Drill-in Fluids and Completion Fluids - day 2

    Identify uses for common salts and spike fluids used in brines.
    Describe brine properties (Turbidity, Density, True Crystallisation Temperature…) and explain how they are measured along with equipment required.
    Identify and understand application of several water-base and oil-base reservoir drill-in fluids.

    Day 29

    Well Clean up and Displacement Procedures

    Explain the purpose of a displacement and why it is critical to ensure fluid compatibility with the formation.
    Define direct and indirect displacements, transition spacer, cleaning spacer and tail spacer.
    Describe a displacement’s function, the cleaning triangle, and how to evaluate an effective displacement.

    Day 30

    Lab Session - Final Lab Session - Treat Contaminated Mud System

    Identify the Contaminant and Fix Mud:
    Identify one unknown contaminant by chemical and physical analysis.
    Recommend a treatment to restore appropriate mud property values.
    List the contaminant's primary indicators; your recommended treatment; and why each prescribed product is absolutely necessary to treat the contaminant.

    Course Feedback - Evaluation - Certificate of Attendance

    • Drilling Engineers
    • Drilling Supervisors
    • Production Engineers
    • Drilling Fluids Supervisor
    • Drilling Fluids Superintendent
    • HSE Functions of drilling fluids
    • Composition of water based mud
    • Clay chemistry
    • Rheology
    • Filtration
    • Products and systems
    • Oil and synthetic based mud products and systems
    • Lost circulation Stuck pipe problems
    • HPHT challenges
    • HPHT applications and systems
    • Corrosion
    • Hole cleaning
    • Reservoir drill-in fluid system
    • Completions fluid
    • Chemicals well clean up
    • Solids control 
    • Waste Management
    • Polymers Chemistry

    A basic knowledge of drilling operations with wellsite exposure  is preferable.

    Currently there are no scheduled classes for this course.

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