The increasing oil demand around the world along with the depletion of onshore and shallow water oil reserves have forced the oil companies moving into the development of deepwater subsea hydrocarbon reservoirs. Drilling fluids play a key role in all drilling operations, but they get a greater relevance in deepwater environments where the technological challenges of drilling at these extreme conditions generate significant operational risks as well as very high costs during the development of this kind of fields. The operational issues and concerns related to the drilling fluid design and application for deepwater fields are generally well known: narrow pore/fracture pressure gradient margins, wellbore stability, clay swelling, gas hydrates formation, formation damage, salt formations, lost circulation, stuck pipe, cuttings transport and environmental and safety aspects. Therefore, the present chapter aims to give an overview on the main challenges and research related to drilling fluid design and application for deepwater fields through the revision of the state of the art of the current and innovative technological solutions reported in literature.
Part of the book: Recent Insights in Petroleum Science and Engineering