Two Schlumberger companies, Cameron and M-I SWACO, joined efforts to provide market with a drilling fluid optimization system to be used during drilling operations. Cameron delivers a complete remote-controlled and automatic drilling fluids mixing system, while M-I SWACO's technology facilitates continuous real-time measurement, analysis and optimization of mud properties. Today mud samples are measured every 6 hours or more frequently, depending on the conditions in the well. The properties are then adjusted for the most part manually, based on a mud engineer's practice.

The Cameron Automix system comprises mechanized equipment and a robot for addition of chemicals into the drilling fluid, and works in concert with the M-I SWACO RheoProfiler instrument, which measures and analyzes drilling fluid properties in real time. Schlumberger (SLB) algorithms, designed to care for the known wellbore situations, automatically create optimal recipes for the chemicals to be mixed into the drilling fluid.

The synergies between M-I SWACO's core competence in fluids and RheoProfiler technology and Cameron's competence in software and mixing equipment, result in a unique method / system of continuous stabilization and control of the wellbore through drilling fluid optimization.

With the focus on a fully autonomous ‘closed-loop’ drilling rig, the spotlight is strongly directed on the drill floor activities and their automation. The main goal of SLB, in terms of automation and closed-loop activities, is to improve the primary well barrier, keep well conditions under control, and rig safe. A combination of each company's strengths, Automix and RheoProfiler can play an essential part in moving the drilling industry towards the same philosophy of fully automated and intelligent systems. The entire drilling operation needs to be viewed as one system, with one organization working towards a common goal, reducing exploration cost without compromising safety. However, there will always be a need for the mud engineer on board.

Less visible in the general hype around automation and more efficient drilling operations, is the importance of optimized properties of the mud in the drilling process. Safety during drilling, better well bore, economy or producing reservoir are just a few of the benefits of the SLB solution.

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