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While drilling an exploratory well in the Campeche Basin of the Gulf of Mexico, an operator utilized a heavy invert emulsion drilling fluid with mud weights as high as 16.2 lb/bbl. Severe wellbore instability issues were encountered including lost circulation and sloughing shale followed by stuck pipe resulting in the loss of the three bottom hole assemblies.
On the fourth attempt to drill the highly unstable section, the operator utilized a combination of FLC 2000® in the active system along with scheduled sweeps of FLC EXTREME. The mud weight was extended to 16.7 lb/gal without further mud losses, collapsing shale and zero stuck pipe events.
The well was successfully drilled to total depth (TD) after the three attempts. The operator was extremely satisfied with the wellbore stability created by the FLC product line. With this in mind, FLC EXTREME has become part of the operator’s standard operating procedures while drilling this type of formation.