Mudlogging, or mud logging, involves the making of a comprehensive documentation of a borehole by inspecting the rock or sediment dislodged by the circulating mud through the borehole. A geologist who inspects and analyzes this rock and sediment is normally called a mudlogging geologist or a mud logger. Often mudlogging geologists do not work for the companies that own the oil wells and travel between job sites. Usually, these professionals work out of a mobile laboratory. Their basic responsibilities include keeping detailed records, maintaining clear communication lines between the unit and the company, and providing support to the oil well managers.
Normally, a mudlogging geologist monitors operations in real time and provides expert advice to the oil well owners. This mud log includes information on the drilling and pumping parameters, seismic activity, and pressure trends. Mudloggers usually use technological devices to gather the data, analyze it, and send it to other scientists or managers. For this reason, many employers seek applicants who are proficient in computer use and computer software programs.
Some companies require applicants to have the ability to travel globally and be willing to work in multinational environments. Generally, companies also expect an employee to be willing to work in multicultural situations, even within their own country. A mudlogging geologist often is responsible for managing the personnel and equipment of the mobile unit. This usually requires a person to have good people skills.
The degrees and experience that a company requires before hiring a person depends on the demands of the job. A mudlogging geologist typically has a bachelor's degree or a similar degree and some experience in the field. Some employers accept degrees in geology or applied physical earth sciences. Many companies consider a person a stronger candidate for the job if he or she has training in mechanics, chemistry, or computers.
One of the most important jobs that a mudlogging geologist has is to keep detailed records. Companies need detailed records to remain in compliance with regulatory agencies. Sometimes a geologist may make suggestions to help a company comply with the regulations, such as some environmental regulations.
A mudlogging geologist generally provides expertise and logistical support that may help a company reach its production goals. Other critical data may help a company determine well placement and drilling techniques. Sometimes senior mudlogging geologists design mudlogging or logging programs specific to a company's needs. Typically, the senior mudlogger trains the staff on the use of the mudlogging programs.