This is one of the numerous religious verdicts that have also been backed by science. It has also been so controversial that several people have built even life ending choices on it. These points to its veracity and validity.
Whether by experience or training, every drilling fluids specialist comes to accept that the drilling fluid is the blood of the drilling and completions operation. Just like the blood every chemical necessity of the operation and half its mechanical is hinged on the mud. Just as surgeons, ours is a delicate role. Little wonder that for something as trivial as a cough, the mud is the first thing to blame. Like the blood also, a halt to circulation can be the end of the whole operation.
Armed with this perspective however, the role of a Mud Engineer should be one taken up for passion as much as for the remuneration. Without passion, the several moving parts won’t come together and therefore, probing for non-mud related drilling complications would be quite impossible, hence the high possibility that the mud engineer would take more than his share of responsibility for drilling problems.
As in medical science, accurate prognosis is hinged on diligent and detailed blood work in the lab, otherwise you have wrong prognosis and diagnosis and its attendant health complications or even death. The best scientist is one who acts on the details of the numbers. A very good mud engineer is one who responds not to guesses or just experience but on result of detailed testing. The mud lab is hence the sanctuary of the mud engineer. Mud treatments are best and more effective when they are a result of accurate prognosis only afforded by thorough and regular mud checks.
It must be pointed out too that mud checks on their own are not enough. The mud engineer must be able to go a step further and interpret the results. This involves separating cause from effects and dealing with causes other than symptoms. This is where training and experience comes in.
In summary, beyond words, the mud engineer holds the heart of the exploration – whether drilling or completion, and as such he must always be on his toes and know his onions to be truly effective. The lab apparatus and reagents need to be regularly calibrated, as it goes a long way in defining a successful operation.