Selection of the proper drilling fluid is important to the success of a drilling operation. No fluid is suitable for all situations. Fluids with different base liquids, different dominating cations in the aqueous phase, different chemical additives, or broadly diverse physical characteristics have different behaviors, physical characteristics have different behaviors, making for a large menu of choices.
The string is as long as necessary for the desired degree of precision (seawater lignosulfonate mud, saturated salt mud, potassium mud, relaxed-fluid-loss oil mud, gypsum potassium mud, relaxed-fluid-loss oil mud, gypsum mud, and polymer mud).
Drilling fluid selection can require consideration of numerous factors. The most important are safety, evaporate zones, high temperatures and pressures, environment, loss zones, shale problems, well trajectory, and economics.
The most important criteria when designing for drilling fluid program is minimum overall well cost. Exploration and production issues, environmental impact, performance and logistics are others factors which are involved in drilling fluid program.