Effect of Mud Weight on Hole Cleaning During Oil and Gas Drilling Operations Effective Drilling Approach

Kevin C. Igwilo1, *, Emeka E. Okoro2, Princewill N. Ohia1, Solomon A. Adenubi2, Nnanna Okoli1, Temilade Adebayo1
1 Department of Petroleum Engineering, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Owerri, Nigeria
2 Department of Petroleum Engineering. Covenant University Ota, Nigeria

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© 2019 Igwilo et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Petroleum Engineering, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Owerri, Nigeria;
Tel: +2348033365214; Emails:



A good hole cleaning operation is an important factor for every successful drilling program. Drilling mud should be formulated to suspend and transport cuttings effectively to minimize the number of drill cuttings in the hole. It is therefore, essential to determine the best weighing material that would be incorporated into the drilling mud for efficient hole cleaning given the well’s condition and formation type.


This work is aimed to provide a detailed comparative analysis on the effect of drilling mud weight, using different concentrations of barite and calcium carbonate as weighing materials to determine optimum materials for hole cleaning.

Results and Discussion:

The results show that barite gave a lower annular pressure drop and therefore, a better Equivalent Circulating Density (ECD) compared to calcium carbonate, though, calcium carbonate gave better results in terms of transport efficiency and cutting concentration compared to barite.


Barite is highly applicable in high-pressure reservoirs and calcium carbonate is applicable in depleted reservoirs. It can also serve as a bridging agent and can be used in reservoirs where it is necessary to minimize formation damage.

Keywords: Hole cleaning, Annular pressure drop, Cutting concentration, cutting transport efficiency, Barite, Calcium carbonate.