American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018 - 135

SPECIAL REPORT: DRILLING TECHNOLOGY
but higher torques, observes Casey Kitagawa, global applications engineering director at Drilformance. "Traditionally,
the standard Eagle Ford motor for the
curve and lateral had half a revolution
for every gallon of flow rate. The new
even-wall motors go through 0.40 or 0.42
revolutions a gallon, but they are powerful
enough to handle larger depths of cut
without stalling."
Taking advantage of the motor's
strength requires new, more aggressive
bits. With that in mind, Kitagawa says
Drilformance developed an 83⁄4-inch, sixblade bit for drilling Eagle Ford curve
and lateral sections in a single run. Unlike
traditional designs for the application,
which use 11-millimeter or 11.5 and 13millimeter cutters, or in some cases a
mix of 13- and 16-millimeter cutters, the
new bit only contains 16-millimeter cutters
in order to maximize ROP.
The company has made more than 25
runs with the bit, a DF616 STX. Based
on its success, Kitagawa says Drilformance
created an 81⁄2-inch version that has completed more than 13 runs. "Many of the
directional drillers for these runs say the
bit is their favorite to use in the Eagle
Ford because it can get the yield and
build rates they need in the curve while
tracking well in the lateral," he reports.
In its first run, the 83⁄4-inch DF616
STX drilled the entire 12,872-foot curve
and lateral sections of a horizontal well
in Dimmit County, Tx., at an average
ROP of 220 feet/hour. The fastest offset
run on the same pad required two bits to
complete those sections and did so at a
combined ROP of only 154 feet/hour,
Kitagawa relates. He adds that the Drilformance bit set a record by completing
the curve in five hours, rather than six
or seven.
Midland Basin Bit
The kickoff points for Midland Basin
wells targeting the Wolfcamp and
Spraberry occur at depths between 7,000
and 10,000 feet, Kitagawa notes. "In
the deeper areas, where the casing point
is at 8,000-9,000 feet, many operators
need three or four bits to drill the vertical
interval," he says. "We have developed
a bit that can do it in one or two runs,
which generally cuts one or two days of
rig time."
The 121⁄4-inch bit has five blades and
16-millimeter cutters. "Traditionally, the

To help operators drill Eagle
Ford curves and laterals quickly,
Drilformance has developed an
aggressive bit that can take advantage of the power delivered
by long, high-torque mud motors. According to the company,
the bit delivers rapid build rates
in the curve and tracks well in
the lateral.

bit would use six or seven blades to increase the diamond volume and durability,"
Kitagawa allows. "We decided to take an
unusual approach after analyzing dull
bits and realizing that the damage came
from their poor steerability. To achieve
the 8-12 degree tangents operators required, the bits had to build and drop
constantly, which stresses their sides and
shoulders."
The tangent-friendly five-blade bit has
completed almost 40 runs, and Kitagawa
says its performance has been exceptional.
For example, on a four-well pad in Martin
County, Tx., the bit drilled from 1,346
feet to a depth of 7,253 feet, 30 percent
farther than the three offsets' average.
In another area, two rigs with the new
bit outperformed two rigs using a more
traditional design, Kitagawa says. All
four rigs were within a mile of one
another. On average, the Drilformance
bit increased run lengths by 20 percent
while maintaining faster ROPs.
Tackling Interbedded Formations
By investing in research and development throughout the downturn, National
Oilwell Varco's ReedHycalog business
unit reports it has stayed ahead of operator
efficiency demands. "We have made several improvements to our Tektonic™
PDC bit platform that simplify drilling
in a variety of formations, from shale
plays to offshore salts," says Tom Roberts,
ReedHycalog's director of PDC strategy.
Those innovations include novel multidimensional PDC geometries that max-

imize ROP, torque-minimizing depth-ofcut control inserts and new diamond
grades that are effective in nontraditional
PDC applications, Roberts details.
As part of a strategic project focused
on drilling salt, the company developed
a nonplanar cutter design called ION™
4D. Pressurized drilling lab tests show
that the new cutters significantly increase
ROP in all rock types, Roberts reports.
He explains that they fracture the rock in
point-loading through a crushing action
on the cutting edge, then plow with relieved surfaces in the shearing direction.
The ramp on the cutter's noncutting side
helps evacuate cuttings.
In their first field test Roberts says
the ION cutters increased ROP by 20
percent in a Williston Basin well. They
were applied to an 83⁄4-inch, six-bladed,
16-millimeter design for drilling the bottom of the vertical section, and they
helped it drill 1,974 feet to a measured
depth of 10,050 feet at an average ROP
of 160.9 feet/hour.
New TORC™ inserts control depth
of cut to mitigate stick-slip and improve
tool face control while maximizing ROP,
Roberts continues. "These inserts have a
unique shape and a larger surface area
that allows them to control depth of cut
more effectively than traditional depthof-cut control inserts," he says. "In fact,
they reduce torque fluctuations as much
as 50 percent."
NOV tested the inserts in a highly interbedded interval near Pinedale, Wy.,
where compressive strengths fluctuated
APRIL 2018 135



American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

Contents
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