An emerging sweet spot for the oil and gas industry, Africa is accelerating exploration and production developments in both its onshore and offshore sectors. National oil corporations are partnering with industry heavyweights from around the globe to rebuild infrastructure in the world's second largest continent. Vast oil and gas reserves are harnessed within Africa's respective countries, as well as the surrounding waters of the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Suez Canal and Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Sea to the west.
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.