drillers.com expert profile

David Messler

​​Reservoir and Drilling Fluids Expert

ACME Fluids Training – The home of in-depth Reservoir Drilling Fluids Training

David is the owner of ACME Fluids Training. ACME’s mission is to the teach the processes behind the development of reservoir drill-in fluids (RDF’s) that are optimized for individual wells.

Classes are conducted in small groups-never more than 15 attendees, and usually with a maximum of 10. This is to emphasize the interaction between students and instructors as part of the learning process.

David is also available as an independent RDF consultant for any related project. He can deliver solutions to fit the needs of each individual client. He can work on-site, remotely, or in your office, and can travel anywhere in the US or Internationally.


Mr. Messler brings over 38 years of completions experience as a Field Engineer, Project Engineer, Training Instructor, and Technical Service Manager into the class room. For the last fifteen years he has specialized in fluids applications for open-hole completions, in the GoM, Brasil, Malaysia, and Australia while working in the M-I SWACO division of Schlumberger.

In various field, technical, and training positions, he has designed, and implemented completion and reservoir drilling fluids for a variety of sand face completion methods; predominantly: open-hole gravel packs, slotted liners, and standalone screens.

As a Trainer and Consultant his career arc has taken him to most major petroleum basins including: The west coast of the USA, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, Latin America, Australia, and finally to Asia. In mid- 2015 he retired from Schlumberger’s M-I SWACO unit in Malaysia. As a Trainer, attached to M-I SWACO’s Houston office, he was the Global Trainer for the WP product line focusing on Completion Fluids, Reservoir Drilling Fluids, and IWA Displacement and Workshop classes.

Core Expertise:

  • Reservoir drilling fluids and breakers-testing and design.
  • Trouble shooting RDF candidate fluid failures.
  • Formation damage minimization from reservoir drilling fluids.
  • Non-damaging Fluid Loss Pills.
  • Completion brines.
  • Filtration.
  • Well bore cleanups and displacements mechanical and chemical.
  • Open-hole completion logistics and pit management.


Texas A&M-Commerce, B.S. Industrial Technology- 1980.

Baroid Drilling fluids school, 1981.

Partial list of Completions Projects Directly Supervised

  • ExxonMobil: Janz field Australia, 2-well OHGP campaign.
  • Shell: BC-10 Subsea Development. 11-well OHGP project in 6,150’ of water.
  • Shell: Sa-G Subsea completion. 1-well OHGP in 2,200’ of water.
  • Shell: BS-4 well test. OHGP in 6,000’ of water.
  • Shell: F-14, Formate based RDF project w chelant filter cake breaker; 2-well project.
  • BP: Holstein SPAR Development. 10 well CHFP campaign in 3,400’ of water.
  • BP: Marlin SS-1, ST-1 Subsea intervention in 3,300’of water. CHFP completion.
  • BP: Pompano coiled tubing intervention campaign- 10 month program.
  • BP: Amberjack, 2-well CHFP campaign using ZnBr2.
  • BP: Pompano Platform. 6- HTHP CHFP completions using ZnBr2 in 1,300’ of water.
  • BP: Nile, King, and King’s Peak Subsea CHFP completions. 6-wells in +/-6,000’ of water.
  • BP: HTHP Shelf completions at Matagorda Island. 3 wells CHFP completions.
  • EEX Corp 1-well project – Garden Banks 387, 3,400’ of water CHFP- ZnBr2.
  • EEX Corp: 8-Well Campaign, West Cameron BLK 321; CHFP using ZnBr2.
  • Chevron Indonesia- Bangka project: NaBr fluid w/low water activity for 2-well CHFP project.

Partial list of RDF and Completion Fluid Systems Developed

9.6 ppg NaCl based biopolymer RDF. Brazil, Compos basin OHGP development for IOC client. Used a chelant/enzyme breaker system to remove filter cake. Key challenges- Dynamic losses, ECD management.

9.9 ppg KCL based biopolymer RDF. Brazil, shallow water Compos field OHGP development for IOC client. Used a chelant/enzyme breaker to remove filter cake. Key challenges; drilling extended reach wells with water-based mud from a fixed platform.

9.0 ppg, Invert emulsion RDF, Malaysia, South Furious field. Key challenges; bridging of carbonate formation to minimize invasion of mud filtrate.

9.4 ppg, Invert emulsion RDF; Gulf of Thailand. Used an advanced filter cake breaker to remove OBM filter cake. Key challenges; hole stability, high BHT. Fluid and breaker combination increased production over previous SAS and flow back only completion method.

9.2 ppg, Invert emulsion RDF; Gulf of Thailand for SAS completions. Used an advanced filter cake breaker to remove filter cake. Key challenges; BHT-280 F.

10.0 ppg, Paraffin based invert emulsion RDF in New Zealand for SAS completions- 6 well campaign. Used an advanced filter cake breaker to remove filter cake. Key challenges; low BHT-120 F, losses while drilling, ECD management while drilling extended reach wells.

10.2 ppg, biopolymer based RDF in New Zealand. Key challenges; formation compatibility with salts.

10.0 ppg, Invert emulsion RDF in Gulf of Thailand. Used an advanced filter cake breaker to remove filter cake. Key challenges; mud weight using acid soluble solids, hole stability, high BHT. Fluid and breaker combination increased production over previous SAS and flow back only completion method.

10.5 ppg, Invert emulsion RDF and breaker system for Australia using both SAS, and OHGP completion methods. Key challenges; high BHT- 310 F, obtaining drilling properties at high temperatures, compatibility with lower completion equipment, break through time for filter cake breaker.

10.1 ppg, NaBr based biopolymer RDF in Australia. 10-well campaign using OHGP’s w shunt tube screens. Key challenges; high BHT-250 F, obtaining compatibility with breaker system and gravel pack carrier fluid.

9.6 ppg, biopolymer based RDF for Vietnam using SAS completion method. Key challenges; high BHT-280 F, bridging high perm carbonate reservoir.

11.2 ppg, starch based RDF in Malaysia for SAS development. Key Challenges; high BHT-290 F, maintaining drilling properties with a divalent brine base at high temp.

11.9 ppg NaBr based biopolymer RDF and breaker system for Malaysia client. Key challenges; density maintenance, building a breaker system that would obtain the required density, high BHT- 230 F.

12.2 ppg potassium formate based biopolymer RDF for east Malaysia client for 2-well SAS project. Key challenges; high BHT, 24-hour break through time on filter cake breaker.

13.6 ppg Potassium/Cesium formate based biopolymer RDF in Malaysia. 6-well OHGP campaign. Key challenges; RDF/breaker compatibility, compatibility with lower completion equipment.

11.3 ppg, NaBr completion brine, TCT -18° F, water activity 0.76 w 5% MEG for Indonesia.

Language Skills

Conversant Portugues Some Spanish

Native English


Three SPE technical papers on completion issues. SPE #’s 73711, 81071, 86503

More About ​David & ACME Fluids Training.

After more than 35 years in full time employment in the oil industry, David Messler wasn't ready to fully retire. He decided to retain a few consulting roles within companies, where he acts in a mentorship role. ​He also runs ​around 4 courses per year where he trains groups of fluids specialists. A typical year might contain courses in Houston, Aberdeen, Bankok and Rio De Janeiro. These sessions allow David to enjoy travel opportunities, and help preserve his knowledge and experience for the next generation.

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