Definition: Mud Logging
Mud logs enable the geological description and analysis of rock cuttings suspended within the returned drilling mud and can provide a variety of useful information regarding reservoir parameters.
- Mud logging is the creation of a detailed record (well log) of a borehole by examining the cuttings of rock brought to the surface by the circulating drilling medium (most commonly drilling mud). Mud logging is usually performed by a third-party mud logging company. This provides well owners and producers with information about the lithology and fluid content of the borehole while drilling. Historically it is the earliest type of well log. Under some circumstances compressed air is employed as a circulating fluid, rather than mud. Although most commonly used in petroleum exploration, mud logging is also sometimes used when drilling water wells and in other mineral exploration, where drilling fluid is the circulating medium used to lift cuttings out of the hole. In hydrocarbon exploration, hydrocarbon surface gas detectors record the level of natural gas brought up in the mud. A mobile laboratory is situated by the mud logging company near the drilling rig or on deck of an offshore drilling rig, or on a drill ship.