The primary purpose of this paper is to demonstrate methodology in choosing a drilling fluid system when certain formation characteristics are known. Formation analyses of several shales have been completed and are the basis for this paper. These formations are located along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, providing some of the most reactive shales to their drilling fluid environment.
Composition of the Travis Peak Formation and analyses of fluid systems to drill this formation will also be advanced. The procedures for testing the drilling fluids environments will be presented. Several companies have used these techniques in selecting drilling fluids programs with much success. Principles of shale stability will be reviewed.