Mud logging technology has advanced to a stage where an increasing number of professionals use this data to perform quantitative reservoir evaluation and reservoir fluid typing. The use of mud logging services in Saudi Aramco prior to 2003 was limited to areas where H2S detection was of great importance in reservoirs where pyrolysis was being performed on cuttings to identify the presence of tar.

In Saudi Aramco Exploration & Delineation wells, well site geologists describe cuttings and mud engineers use simple gas detectors to monitor gas shows in the mud returns. To implement mud logging on a wider scale in Saudi Aramco represented a significant change in procedures. The mud logging unit had to improve formation evaluation, reduce well testing and/or aid in the discovery of reserves that might otherwise be overlooked.

The process of evaluating different mud logging suppliers and systems resulted in a large body of data across many oil, gas and water bearing reservoirs. Through a series of short case examples the benefit of using these systems is examined.

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