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Drilling Fluids
Lee A. Richards, PhD, PE

INSTRUCTOR: Lee A. Richards, PhD, PE
DISCIPLINE: Engineering
COURSE LENGTH: 3 Days (Classroom) / 6 Half-Day Sessions (Live Online)
CEUS: 2.4
AVAILABILITY: Public, In-House, & Live Online


Check back in periodically for updated Public and Live Online course dates! To schedule an In-House course, contact SCA’s Training Department at
SAMPLE TOPICS FROM THE CLASS: "Why is My Mud Bill So High? How to Minimize Costs Associates with a Healthy OBM System"

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Drilling engineers and well operations personnel who would like to gain greater understanding of drilling fluids, their application and the principles behind fluid treatment.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to improve understanding of drilling fluids and the theory behind fluid treatment and maintenance. Often during operations drilling engineers and well-site supervisors lack the basic understanding of how drilling fluids work and why certain treatments are administered. This often leads to the application of improper treatment regimens which can lead to increased well costs, improper hole cleaning, stuck pipe incidences, poor ROPs, and even well control situations. This course will take the mystery out of drilling fluid operations and provide a working knowledge of both oil based and water based drilling fluid maintenance and application.


  • Understand the basic make-up of both water based and oil based fluids.
  • Learn how fluids interact with drilled formations and the principles of fluid treatment to improve operational efficiency.
  • Understand mud reports and the governing principles behind the numbers reported.
  • Learn to recognize proper and improper treatment strategies.
  • Learn to recognize potential problematic zones and formulate drilling fluid strategies to optimize drilling operations.
  • Determine when to select various types of drilling fluid for specific drilling situations.
  • Understand the basic principles behind solids control.
  • Learn the governing aspects of hole cleaning and how drilling fluid treatment and selection can optimize cuttings transport.
  • Prevent stuck pipe situations
  • Understand lost circulation and learn how to prevent and treat fluid loss events.
  • Understand how drilling fluids react during well control situations and how treatment can prevent major well control events.


  • Water based fluids
  • Clay interactions in water based fluids
  • Water based fluid maintenance and treatment
  • Oil based fluids
  • Emulsion theory
  • Oil based fluid maintenance and treatment
  • Drilling fluids reports and how the measured parameters effect drilling operations
  • Wellbore problems associated with drilling fluids
  • The importance of drilling fluids for kick prevention