The relationships between oil based drilling fluid composition and the associated vapours have been quantified. This information will provide drilling Operators with improved control in the working environments. The study documents the long and short term changes in base oil selection and fluid compositions. The study is based on the generation and assessment of data collected from the vapour emissions of oil based drilling fluids with varying compositions and at a range of temperatures.

Mineral oil based drilling fluid samples from the field have been investigated and compared to laboratory samples of similar basic composition. The impacts of other components in the drilling fluid formulations are also discussed.

The purpose of the study was to enable a better understanding of the potential working environment hazards when using mineral oil based drilling fluids. One result of this understanding is that new rig construction designs, and older rig upgrades can be more informatively performed. Consequently this will reduce the repetition of continual modification costs.

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