Simpson, Jay P., Member AIME

Publication Rights Reserved

This paper is to be presented at the Upper Gulf Coast Drilling and Production Conference of the Society of Petroleum Engineers or AIME in Beaumont, April 5–6, 1962 and is considered the property of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Permission to publish is hereby restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words, with no illustrations, unless the paper is specifically released to the press by the Editor of the Journal of Petroleum Technology or the Executive Secretary. Such abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in Journal of Petroleum Technology or Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal is granted on request, providing proper credit is given that publication and the original presentation or the paper.

Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines with the paper.


Published studies of differential-pressure sticking of drill pipe have presented methods of testing mud for tendency to cause wall sticking. One such method has been extended to permit simulation of downhole temperature and mud circulation, and data have been obtained for both water and oil muds typical of those currently in use. The laboratory data indicate an oil mud with good rheology, suspension, and filtration properties (as tested under downhole conditions of temperature and differential pressure) to be a very effective means of combatting differential-pressure sticking.

During the past year oil muds have been used on the Louisiana and Texas Gulf Coast to replace water muds in drilling and completion operations where differential-pressure sticking was a problem. Mud densities have varied from 12.5 to 18.8 ppg, formation temperatures have been as high as 300 F, and well depths have been as great as 16,500 feet. Using adequately conditioned non-asphaltic oil muds, these operations have been conducted with no further difficulty from differential-pressure sticking.

For areas in which differential-pressure sticking has been the primary problem and expense, the use of oil mud has become accepted field practice. Total well costs have been greatly reduced by the elimination of fishing operations and reducing time spent on the well.

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