Losing circulation during the drilling procedure can not only be inconvenient, but dangerous. Most drillers use fluids such as mud because it makes drilling larger-diameter and deeper holes easier without worrying about a collapse. But it’s imperative to use the proper drilling fluid.
The correct drilling fluid helps to lift cuttings out of the borehole as well as keeping the temperature near the drill bit down and easing the friction between the drill rod and the bit. But if the bit hits porous and permeable material in a cavity, this can cause the bulk of the drill fluid column to quickly fill the porous borehole wall. The drill operator and the drilling rig can face some serious trouble.
Hitting a cavity in the borehole causes a sudden loss of pressure that was previously keeping the borehole open and stable. This can cause a collapse of the borehole or formation close to the bit, leading to the creation of a depression or void. Drill operators are put into a dangerous situation and risk being pulled down below ground level and smothered under falling debris and sediment.
This can be prevented in a couple of ways:
- Spread the rig’s weight over a wider area by creating a platform or wide base under the back end of the rig.
- Cease drilling immediately at the onset of lost circulation which can be spotted through close observation. If possible and if it’s safe, disconnecting the last drill rod and moving the rig off the hole can save the job.
Safe drilling practices are essential to protecting your team and your equipment. SIMCO drilling rig systems offer a variety of mud pump options to help address many of the circulation issues faced in the field. With the right equipment, close observation on the job site, and thorough training on practical drilling operations and applications – what to watch for, and how to act quickly, you can keep everyone involved safe and productive.
For more information about how SIMCO drilling equipment can benefit your operation, please contact our sales and support team through our contact page or call 1-800-338-9925.