For drilling oil and gas wells, drilling fluids are often referred to as muds. They are in liquid form and in many cases the composition is initially determined in a lab so that a suitable fluid is formulated. Their purpose is to cool the drill bit and provide a medium for transport of the rock and other debris to be lifted to the top of the well. The drill muds used today are water-based mud, oil-based mud, and synthetic-based mud made from mineral or oil extracts. Once drilling ends, the well moves to a completion phase and often is the most important part of the process and needs to ensure a well is ready for production operations. Clients will need pipe on pipe lubricants, friction reducers, and clay control additives that are instrumental during this process.
Hydraulic fracturing, informally referred to as “fracking,” is an oil and gas well development process that typically involves injecting water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into a bedrock formation. It creates new fractures in the rock as well as increase the size, extent, and connectivity of existing fractures. Hydraulic fracturing is a well-stimulation technique used commonly in low-permeability rocks like tight sandstone, shale, and some coal beds to increase oil and/or gas flow to a well from petroleum-bearing rock formations.
Flowback is the process of removing the frac fluids from the reservoir, leaving in place the sand particles to keep the fractures open for oil and gas to flow into the wellbore. The flowback is primarily the water and elements of chemicals used to help the process achieve efficiency and ready the well for production.