mud, drilling

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During rotary drilling, the fluid mud that is circulated to cool the drill bit, convey rock chippings to the surface, and to seal permeable layers and fractures. The drilling mud is usually maintained under pressure to prevent the drill stem being blown out if it penetrates a pocket of pressurized gas. The muds may be oil- or water-based, and are frequently thixotropic bentonites, lime, or barite.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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