Invert emulsion muds for drilling of gas and oil, which are environmentally safe, and which contain: A. a continuous oil phase composed predominantly of at least one monocarboxylic acid ester of a C.sub.2 -C.sub.12 monofunctional alkalol wherein the monocarboxylic acid contains from 16 to 24 carbon atoms and is olefinically mono- or poly-unsaturated, B. a disperse aqueous phase, C. at least one emulsifier, D. at least one weighing agent, E. at least one fluid loss additive, and F. a mild alkaline reserve.
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