Geographically surrounded by Russia to the north, India in the south, Central China to the east and the Caspian Sea to the west, Central Asia has made strides in recent years to exploit its fossil-fuel resources following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The ex-Soviet republics of Central Asia, specifically Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, boast plentiful oil and gas reserves, and the offshore Caspian region is the primary energy hub for these countries' burgeoning exploration and production operations.
Drilling fluids, also referred to as drilling mud, are added to the wellbore to facilitate the drilling process by suspending cuttings, controlling pressure, stabilizing exposed rock, providing buoyancy, and cooling the drill bit. Mud engineers ensure that the drilling mud that is used is made to the required specifications based on the expected geology. Drilling fluids can be water, oil, or synthetic-based, and mud engineers must take rock formation composition, as well as environmental impact, into account when making decisions about what drilling fluids might be best for any given well.