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Mud Ring
15 July 2020
Does anyone have a good photo of a mud ring stick to drill pipe or BHA tools? I’m writing a report and a picture would save me a thousand words.
12 answer(s)
(retired) Well Fluids Team leader
SPREAD Associates
Total Posts: 52
Join Date: 14/06/06

Here is an example page. You have to decide yourself which information you need to collect depending on the issues you are having on your wells.   If you need more information please contact me via LinkedIn or my email address. There are a number of other items one might address in a report such as geology, well design stuck pipe incidents, SRE mud parameters, hole cleaning pills etc.  . 

Regards Ian  
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(retired) Well Fluids Team leader
SPREAD Associates
Total Posts: 52
Join Date: 14/06/06


All are usually confidential and will be the property of the owner oil company. I can explain how I would approach putting a document together if you require.

However it might be beneficial if you can go on one of Dave’s courses (DWOP etc) or alternately attend a SPE drilling programme training event where offset review is a discussion session. 

Rig_site Engineer
Total Posts: 15
Join Date: 24/06/20
Dear Mr. Ianpetitte,

i would like to ask you if you have published your reviews some where so i can track it down and learn some of your experience there ?

(retired) Well Fluids Team leader
SPREAD Associates
Total Posts: 52
Join Date: 14/06/06
Hi , Steve hope you are keeping well. 

Your picture of Fulmar ? aroused my attention. I did a really interesting couple of weeks during a summer supervising well-site TDT and production well logging on Fulmar in the mid eighties.

I wrote a mud review of Fulmar wells in the mud nineties. I split the wells between three template wells drilled with WBM in the late seventies with the Ocean Voyager and two further template wells and some twenty platform wells drilled with OBM. 

Your picture must be from one of the seventies WBM (mostly KCl polyacrylamide mud) wells. Drilled before you or I joined the industry. 

These three WBM wells suffered from extensive drilling problems including sidetracks, stuck pipe, poor drilling performance and high costs in the 17 1/2" and 12 1/4" sections. The drilling crew had all sorts of problems including balled up bits, drill collar, stabilisers and plugged flow lines etc. despite use of bit balling pills,extensive wiper tripping and other good drilling practices around at this time.     

The successful drilling performance after the three WBM wells was definitely the use of OBM with the correct mud weight . The shales in this area were found to be extremely reactive to water based mud. Even the water phase salinity had to be carefully controlled with OBM in the 17 1/2" section to prevent ingress of water from the shales.  

Best Wishes Ian 

Consultant Well Engineer and Trainer - HPHT, Deepwater and MPD Well Delivery and Well Control,
Welltrain Limited
Total Posts: 25
Join Date: 09/12/09
Sorry for the delay..  it has taken a while for me to find this classic picture.   Enjoy.   I believe it maybe Fulmar early 80s butr might be mistaken..


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Mud Ring.jpg
Assistant Drilling Supervisor
Total Posts: 1
Join Date: 18/07/20
Greetings David,

I might have some recent pictures of balled-up bit and stabilizer.  I was lucky enough to get some good pictures. Good luck on your report!
fishing tool hand / consultant / advisor / coordinator / tech. rep.
SPREAD Associates
Total Posts: 42
Join Date: 13/03/12
 some pics, not necessarily mud ring as I know it but some good gumbo.

  Real mud ring could push the rotary bushings right out of the rotary table 
Drilling Specialist/Well Engineer/Training Consultant
Kingdom Drilling
Total Posts: 470
Join Date: 10/01/05
If we are jumping the gun here and it is as Dave has stated. Inside not outside the pipe :) 

Ie This question is about mud or cement rings inside the pipe? 

We have in the past experienced cement rings on some types of drill pipe connection where the internal profile has a cavity where typically cement rings can form, Personally I can’t recollect mud rings in these zones. 

I can’t recollect ever taking a picture of these. 

But they can be a physical problem and issue. 

Typical prevention is the sponge ball drop after cementing to Rey wipe the tooljoint cavities where rings can form and pumping to assure turbulent flow within the pipe. :) 
Managing Director (
Relentless Pursuit Of Perfection Ltd.
Total Posts: 468
Join Date: 10/01/05
Hi David

For some reason, I thought that mud rings were associated with mud caught in the gaps in a Rotary Shouldered Connection. And that the build-up on the outside was called 'gumbo attack'. See attached.

My bad

Documents uploaded by user:
Mud rings.docx
Drilling Specialist/Well Engineer/Training Consultant
Kingdom Drilling
Total Posts: 470
Join Date: 10/01/05
Mud rings, mud balls, mud rings. (see table attached)

When drilling clay claystones? 

Form when 4-6% cuttings concentrations results according to literature.

This is what we alway base out upper limit drilling models and section drilling evaluation and determinations on.

Perosonally we have engineered our drilling, bit bottom hole hydraulics, pump rate, mud rheology etc  and importantly ROP limits etc to stay away from mud ring limits and stay out of problem that can be caused otherwise. 

What's is often  main contributor (even in SOBM!) is is distinct lack a lack of energy afforded at bit for ROP being drilled. Particularly today.

Poor cuttings removal results in regrinding at bit, this result sin more inhibition need in mud, mud loses its shape, rheology deteriorates and mud rings form as a contributory result of drilling at a ROP that exceed bit/bottom hole and wellbore cleaning rate.

Mud rings therefore do not simply happen but are  evidently caused. Evident causes that can be determined and more proactively prevented in the first place.

Mud Rings

Occurrence of mud rings

Soft cuttings may agglomerate in the annulus to form a “doughnut” ring which impedes mud flow and cuttings transport.  The ring of cuttings can migrate up or down depending upon mud flow, and may lead to blocked flow lines.  Restriction of cuttings flow could ultimately lead to pack-off.  Tends to occur only with WBM’s.

Measures to prevent mud rings

·         Use sufficient mud inhibition to avoid sticky cuttings (e.g. KCl/polymer rather  than lime or gyp/PAC mud, consider high KCl or KCl/glycol muds).

·         Circulate annulus clean before trips.

·         Use large diameter flowlines.

·         Avoid excessive ROP’s.

·         Ensure good hole cleaning to prevent cuttings build-up.

 Mud rings symptoms

·         Increase in pump pressures as the annulus partially blocks.

·         Reduction in cuttings flow rate, seen at the shakers.

·         Increase in torque due to braking effect of mud ring.

·         Decrease in ROP and hook load as mud ring acts as piston to lift the drillpipe.

·         Blocked flow line/plugged shaker screens.

 Curing mud rings

·         Circulate annulus clean by increasing flow rate (if EMW/ECD’s limits permit).  Increase size of flow lines if possible to prevent blockage.  If necessary, use viscous pill to circulate clean.

·         If mud ring is severe, adding detergent may help to disperse the aggregated clay making it easier to remove.  If detergent is successful, maintain this in the mud system to prevent recurrence

Hopefully others will provide more physical (parts) and scientific insight into why this is so.

Looking forward to learning more on this.    
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Classisification of claystones and shales.jpg
Operations Manager / HPHT Drilling Superintendent
SPREAD Associates
Total Posts: 4
Join Date: 08/04/18
Hi David,

Found these two You Tube videos on your subject. You should be able to grab a screen shot, or gab a frame from the videos.

There is a Dutch company that makes stabilizers that among other things, helps prevent mud rings. They will surely have some good mud ring photos if you contact them diectly. That website is:

Good luck,

Well Engineering Consultant and Instructor
SPREAD Associates
Total Posts: 41
Join Date: 23/03/16

Not attached a picture of a balled up bit and a stabilizer.
I guess these can be called mud rings. This was more of a gumbo scenario than mud rings.

Not easy pictures to get as most drill crews are very quick with the water hose 

A mud ring is normally something that forms down hole in air drilling operations and they seal off the annulus.
Documents uploaded by user:
Mud ring.jpg
Mud ring stabilizer.jpg
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