A properly designed and maintained drilling fluid performs essential functions during well construction such as transporting cuttings to the surface, preventing well-control issues and wellbore stability, minimizing formation damage, cooling and lubricating the drillstring and providing information about the wellbore. Transporting drilled cuttings to the surface is the most basic function of drilling fluid. To accomplish this, the fluid should have adequate suspension properties to help ensure that cuttings and commercially added solids, such as barite weighing material, do not settle during static intervals. The fluid should have the correct chemical properties to help prevent or minimize the dispersion of drilled solids, so that these can be removed efficiently at the surface. Otherwise, these solids can disintegrate into ultrafine particles that can damage the producing zone, and impede drilling efficiency.