What Is The Average Salary For A Mud Engineer In An Oil Field?

2 Answers

Luis Olympiakos Profile
Luis Olympiakos answered
I am a Consultant Mud Engineer with 5 years' experience. I make 28K a month with medical benefits for me and my family, paid mileage, and reimbursment on expenses that are company-related, including but not limited to: Food while on job site, (a good average of what I spend per day on food would be around 50 dollars per day), office supplies, printer cartridges, client entertainment, gifts, hotel stay, airfare, car rental (if outside the US, or outside my driving range) etc...

The consulting firm I work for screens candidates for positions and is very demanding: You must know a minimum of 3 languages, (in my case English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian).

International experience is a must as well: I've worked in Nigeria, Egypt, Norway, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, & US in-land and offshore.

You must have mud school from one of the 4 major mud companies, I went to Mi Swaco Mud School.

You must be able to work well with different Mud programs: I handle One-Trax, Virtual Hydraulics, WellSight2000, DFG, PICS, PERFFLOW, and one more I designed myself. (I am still working on the design. I change a thing here and there whenever I get a chance.)

Also a MUST is to have experience with many types of drilling fluids. I have experience with: Invert Emulsion, Water Base muds, Synthetic, PHPA muds, Brines (KCL, CaCL), aerated muds, & low solids muds.

We have a very select group of professionals, and we earn much more than the average Mud Engineer but, then again, we are called for the wildest of Wildcat wells around the world and our success rate is impressive. That is why we get to charge so damn much and still have much more business than we can handle.

Rotation is 30x30 if abroad, and 14x14 if Domestic. Sometimes, the operator will share a bonus with us. I've only consulted for 1 1/2 years, and I have received two 15K bonuses from Agiba Petroleum Co. (Agypetco), and one 19K bonus from Arab Co. (Arab Emirates).

We are specialists in all drilling fluids and perform every single duty by ourselves, whereas a normal mud company would need a salesman, project engineer, field supervisor, Solids control tech, & mud engineer on location.

I personally thank Mi Swaco for the Mud School oportunity and being able to get IFE certified as well as for the US-in land and Off-shore experience, Schlumberger (before they absorbed Mi Swaco) for great training and first International exposure, Halliburton for reinforcing my Engineering skills with Block II training, and all the Latin American countries they sent me to.

Last, but not least: To all Mud Engineers just starting their careers, and more seasoned hands:

Never settle or get confortable with what you are doing. If you are able to sleep more than 4 hours a day during drilling operations, than you are not being challenged. Push within your company, request the hardest, wildest jobs - if you hear there is a wild well somewhere, then ask to be sent out there. Learn from everybody every day!

Never stop studying! You will never know everything! Buy books, geology books, Petroleum Engineering books, Drilling fluid Hydraulics books - there are many many books related to drilling, production, geology, logging, directinal drilling etc. Read them over and over, be more than a step ahead of the game, every time!

Learn other languages. There are jobs opportunities like mine, where you will make much more than you could imagine, and I probably have way less time doing it than many many more mud engineers, though I probably have a better resume than they do.

I am 27 yrs old and I started like all of you Mud puppies, sitting in Mud school having trouble with a hydrostatic calculation, or trying to calculate the strokes to a bottoms up. I really and truly believe everyone can do what I am doing - as long as they believe they can, and never settle or get too comfortable.
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Anonymous
Anonymous commented
Im in mud school now. I hope to travel the world like you have done. Thank you for a well written article.
Anonymous
Anonymous commented
Mi Swaco is a great school but he was probably already working for Mi Swaco. 
Do you think that you or I can call Mi Swaco and say that we want to attend your mud school? NO! I hope that you have experience in the industry because I heard that Mud School alone is not enough to get a Mud Engineer job. He doesn't mention that, does he.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
This depends on where and how much experience you have. Normally mud companies pay salaries of 3500.00 monthly for 5 years' experience. Consultant mud engineers make more per day, no benefits.

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