Drilling muds are made of bentonite and other clays, and/or polymers, mixed with water to the desired viscosity. Without the drilling muds, corporations could not drill for oil and gas and we would have hardly any of the fuels and lubricants considered essential for modern industrial civilization. There are hundreds of drilling muds used and some kinds of drilling muds contain chromium. The chemical states of chromium in muds have been studied carefully due to concerns about the environmental influence. However it is difficult to determine the chemical state of chromium in drilling muds directly by conventional analytical methods. We have studied the chemical form of chromium in drilling muds by using a laboratory XAFS system and a synchrotron facility.