Drilling Fluids are presently undergoing a period of pronounced change. A significant proportion of new developments are due to legislation adopted within the last ten to fifteen years by the Paris Commission (Parcom) – involving the North Sea countries, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The environmental rules and laws passed by countries that are members of these respective organisations specify what is acceptable or not in environmental terms. Data will be presented to show that a uniform or consensus approach to the selection of environmental criteria for the offshore oil industry appears to be lacking, with an ensuing effect on product research, mud system development and focus.

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