If you run a geotechnical drilling company or drill holes regularly, you understand the crucial role drilling fluids play in smooth, successful operations. But do they truly play a vital role? Do drillers prioritize understanding mud and polymers? Not really. Do drilling company owners recognize the potential cost savings if their drillers grasp these processes? Not really.

I note too that using muds and polymers doesn’t guarantee correct usage. Significant advancements in mud and polymer technology have occurred since the ’80s and ’90s, and many drillers may not up to speed.

Fortunately, many fluids manufacturers offer mud schools at no cost to customers. This column discusses offerings from Baroid IDP — a company I think sets the bar — but drillers can benefit from most any fluids training. In the case of Baroid, you have options for attending:

  • Get in touch with your local product rep and inquire about the possibility of having a mud school conducted at your site or company headquarters. Here’s a helpful tip: Reach out to other drilling product distributors, rig manufacturers or companies you purchase from and ask for their support. They might help sponsor the event, covering the cost of food, beverages or even a tent, so you won’t have out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Once a year, Baroid selects individuals from different countries to participate in their week-long mud school in Houston. I (and others) consider this program the Harvard of drill muds, and attendees become true mud masters.

For your reference, the company has the following upcoming customer workshops:

  • Water Well I, Jan. 22-26, 2024
  • HDD, Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2024
  • Water Well II, Feb. 5-9, 2024
  • Spanish, Feb. 12-16, 2024
  • Water Well III, Feb. 19-23, 2024

Check with your area representative for more information about attending the company’s annual customer workshops.

The Benefits of Learning Drilling Muds

Choosing the right muds, understanding their composition and handling them expertly can significantly impact your drilling performance, company success and reputation as a driller. Go with the fluids training that works for your company, but let me explain why I think Baroid’s mud school gives your geotechnical drilling company the ultimate competitive edge (and makes drilling a breeze).

A Complete Drilling Fluids Education: As I said, many consider Baroid rock stars of drilling fluids and services. Their mud schools can offer your team the ultimate education on all things drilling fluids. From mud systems to fluid properties, solids control to environmental considerations, your team will become true drilling fluids maestros. With this knowledge, they’ll be ready to tackle any geotechnical drilling project.

Masterful Mud Management: Like a finely tuned guitar riff, effective drilling fluids management can make your drilling performance sing. Baroid focuses on teaching participants how to select, mix, monitor and maintain drilling fluids to reach drilling nirvana. Your team will gain a deep understanding of the chemistry and physics behind drilling fluids, empowering them to make rock-solid decisions that boost efficiency and keep downtime at bay. Say goodbye to expensive issues like lost circulation and differential sticking.

Rock-Solid Problem-Solving Skills: Geotechnical drilling, like a wild jam session, always throws unique challenges your way. Baroid hones your team’s problem-solving skills, turning them into true drilling virtuosos. They’ll learn how to troubleshoot fluid-related issues, adapt mud systems to changing subsurface conditions and rock the boat with their problem-solving prowess. The result? Improved project outcomes and clients shouting, “Encore!”

Jamming on Cost Reduction and Efficiency: Investing in a Baroid mud school experience for your crew can save you serious green and make your operations scream with efficiency. Armed with a deeper understanding of drilling fluids, your team optimizes mud systems, cutting waste and unnecessary expenses like true cost-cutting rock stars. Plus, with better fluid management techniques, non-productive time hits a bum note, drilling rates soar and operational efficiency goes through the roof. Cha-ching! Say hello to increased profitability for your geotechnical drilling company.

Keeping Up with the Trends: Baroid’s mud school can help your team stay on the cutting edge of industry trends and developments in drilling fluids management. By participating in these schools, your crew learns about the latest technologies and innovative solutions. Keeping up with the trends puts your company in the spotlight as a leader in geotechnical drilling, attracting clients and giving you major street cred.

This not only benefits your crew’s day-to-day work on-site, it also adds a valuable feather to your hard hat (and could support those salary increase requests …).

Networking, Drilling-Style: Attending Baroid’s Mud School more than just an educational experience — it’s a chance to mingle and network with fellow drillers from around world. These schools bring together professionals from different sectors of the industry, creating an atmosphere of collaboration, knowledge sharing and friendship. Networking opportunities open doors to new partnerships, resources and potential clients.

My fellow drilling company owners, I think enrolling your team in a Baroid mud school can truly change the game, benefitting your production and bottom line. To all my drilling compadres out in the field, this not only benefits your crew’s day-to-day work on-site, it also adds a valuable feather to your hard hat (and could support those salary increase requests …). Go sign up for a mud school and get ready to rock the drilling world.