Harvesting an abundance of oil and natural gas resources, the Middle East supplies nearly half of all exports to the global oil market. Middle Eastern countries Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are all members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which pumps roughly 40% of the world's oil, with Saudi Arabia leading the pack for the greatest amount of output. OPEC's crude oil production was 28.7 million barrels per day in the first half of 2009.
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.