Continuous monitoring of hydrocarbon gases in drilling fluids at the surface is essential for identification of prospective reservoir zones as well as for safety. This paper describes a new gas-analysis system that determines the total amount of gas in the mud below the bell nipple. The system is continuous, consistent, and fully quantitative (unlike a gas trap) but not labor-intensive (like a steam still). It also recovers and analyzes gas liberated into the air at the bell nipple, which test results have shown to be almost 50% of the total gas in the mud below the bell nipple.
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