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drilling mud

noun
1.
a water-based or oil-based suspension of clays pumped into an oil well during drilling in order to seal off porous rock layers, equalize the pressure, cool the bit, and flush out the cuttings.
Also called drilling fluid.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for drilling-mud

drilling mud

noun
1.
a mixture of clays, water, and chemicals pumped down the drill string while an oil well is being drilled to lubricate the mechanism, carry away rock cuttings, and maintain pressure so that oil or gas does not escape
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for drilling-mud

drilling mud

mixture of clay, usually bentonite, and water used primarily in oil, gas, and water-drilling operations to carry rock cuttings to the surface and also to lubricate and cool the drilling bit. Special chemicals are added to the mud to compensate for the varying composition of the water and the formation being drilled and to increase the weight of the column. The drilling mud, by hydrostatic pressure, also helps prevent the collapse of unstable strata into the hole and the intrusion of water from water-bearing strata that may be encountered.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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