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Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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air-cut mud

1. n. [Drilling, Drilling Fluids]
A drilling fluid (or mud) that has gas (air or natural gas) bubbles in it, resulting in a lower bulk, unpressurized density compared with a mud not cut by gas. The density of gas-cut mud can be measured accurately using a pressurized mud balance. Defoamer chemicals added to the mud or a mechanical vacuum pump degasser can liberate the trapped gas. The derrickman periodically measures mud density and communicates the results to the driller via an intercom, typically reporting something like "9.6 heavy," "10.4," or "13.2 light," indicating more than 9.6 pounds per gallon, 10.4 pounds per gallon, or less than 13.2 pounds per gallon, respectively. Each tenth of a pound per gallon is referred to as a "point" of mud weight. Note that for this low-accuracy measurement, no direct mention of gas cut is made. A gas cut is inferred only if the mud returning to the surface is significantly less dense than it should be. In the case of the mud logger's measurement, "units" of gas (having virtually no absolute meaning) are reported. For the mud logger's measurement, a direct indication of combustible gases is made, with no direct correlation to mud weight.
Synonyms: gas-cut mud