A very important aspect in highly inclined wellbores is the mechanical friction. For extended reach drilling (ERD) and through tubing extended reach drilling (TTERD) this can be a limiting factor. Friction caused by the contact between the drill string and the well casing or borehole is dependent on the drilling weight and fluid properties. Drilling fluids play an important role in determining mechanical friction. The use of oil-based drilling fluids with higher lubricity can reduce torque and drag behavior and minimize stick and slip. Reducing mechanical friction will improve drilling efficiency in general, and will in particular enable longer reach for ERD wells. This paper presents results from experimental laboratory tests where the mechanical friction has been investigated. Friction behavior was investigated for different drilling fluids; water-based and oil-based drilling fluids both with and without solid particles. A pin on disk setup was used for these experiments where a spherical ended steel pin was slid against a rotating disk made of granite. The test results show that the mechanical friction in general is smaller with oil-based than water-based drilling fluids in the presence of solid particles.

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