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Drilling muds

The role of drilling muds are:

  1. 1

    to maintain the pressure of the formation

  2. 2

    to lubricate the drill sring

  3. 3

    to raise the cuttings

Two types of mud are implemented according to different criteria, both operational and regulatory:

  • oil-based muds (OBM),
  • water-based muds (WBM) whose main additive is the lubricant.

History of the product


In May 2020, the Earth Sciences business line and the Specialty Fluids Research & Regulation department decided to develop a bio-sourced/low carbon footprint lubricant for WBM in order to meet a strong demand from various operators and thus contribute to the development of low carbon intensity products, one of the axes of the Company’s strategy to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. After several laboratory tests at the Technical Center Asia Pacific (TCAP) in Mumbai, a formulation was selected and patented in October 2020.

From November 2020 to summer 2021, the lubricant is evaluated and validated technically by our main Key Accounts and by the Drilling/Well laboratory of our colleagues at One tech.

The first sale is confirmed in December 2021 by a major operator with a strong presence in West Africa and a second sale confirmed by TotalEnergies E&P Golfe.

The WBM BioLub additive is a blend of bio-sourced oils including a biosourced Hydrogenated Solvent produced by TotalEnergies Fluids with a carbon footprint about 3 to 4 times smaller than those of our competitors.


Water Based Mud Bio-Sourced Lubricant: WBM BioLub 1st Feedback - TotalEnergies E&P Golfe

schéma of the Water Based Mud Bio-Sourced Lubricant: WBM BioLub 1st Feedback.
A timeline showing different steps of bio lub from April to December 2022


First results on the well drilled by TotalEnergies E&P Golfe

offshore plateform


  • The lubricant was applied on the reservoir section (oil reservoir), drilled over a total length of 6517 m by successive addition of lubricant up to 2% (versus 3-4% on similar wells with competing lubricants).
  • Torque was maintained during drilling at very acceptable values showing the lubricity efficacy of the product.
  • Reduction of the carbon footprint (241 T CO2 thanks to the biosourced origin of the lubricant) is material.
  • Two other reservoir sections will be drilled from this well; a second well with three horizontal drains is planned in Q1 2023.