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1961 to 1985 - Although the API and the AIME had published a number of papers on drilling fluid technology, it wasn't until 1961 that the API Committee 13 was established to set specifications and recommended practices for the industry. The primary mud systems at the time were chemically thinned water-based muds and diesel oil-based muds. The defining event of this time period was the dramatic depression the drilling industry. The US rig started the 1980s with about 4,500 rigs and fell to less than a 1000 in three years. This caused a number of mergers and acquisitions as well as bankruptcies in the industry. Another event that effected the mud industry was the Santa Barbara oil spill and the resulting rise in the EPAs oversight on the drilling industry.
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