American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018 - 138

SPECIAL REPORT: DRILLING TECHNOLOGY

Shear Bits' Pexus™ inserts gouge the formation ahead of the PDC cutters, protecting them
from impact damage and allowing them to shear more efficiently. Because the inserts
extend bit life, the company says they increase penetration rates and footage drilled in a
variety of applications, including intervals with tough or highly-interbedded formations.

"In a deepwater North Sea well, we
had an operator who needed to complete
a 16-inch section with a 70-degree inclination," Cory says. "Because the section
included soft gravel interbedded with
hard sandstone and coal stringers, the
PDC previously used had trouble with
tool face control and durability. With the
Kymera, the operator held the tangent
while drilling 40 percent faster and 14
percent farther."
Gouging Hybrid
Shear Bits reports that it continues to
refine the design for its Pexus™ hybrids,
which protect PDC cutters with gouging
inserts. "These inserts fracture the formation ahead of the cutters, reducing the
amount of impact damage they take,"
says Wayne Miller, the company's sales
and operations manager. "They also
smooth torque, so the motor and other
tools in the bottom-hole assembly see
less vibration."
While the gouging hybrids originally
were developed to drill through gravel
and boulders normally only drillable with
roller cones, Miller says Shear Bits has
adapted the concept to a variety of applications, including formations traditionally
drilled with PDCs. In long, highly-interbedded intervals, he says the hybrids'
ability to extend cutter and BHA life
often translates into higher ROPs.
"We also are replacing PDCs in intervals

where the formation is tough throughout.
In this situation, PDCs are used over
roller cones because roller cones can drill
only so many hours before their bearings
wear out," Miller says. "Our hybrid offers
steerability and durability comparable to
a roller cone, but can stay in the hole
much longer."
Since their debut in 2013, Miller says
the gouging hybrids have completed more
than 1,400 runs and drilled 3.5 million
feet of rock. To show how well they perform, he cites a case in Canada where
the bit had a direct offset drilled by the
same operator using the same BHA and
well profile.
"After drilling the vertical section, the
operator would pull out of hole and put
on a new BHA to drill the curve," Miller
recalls. "The interval is tough and full of
transitions, so for the offset, the operator
used a roller cone hybrid to minimize
torque and vibration that could compromise tool face control. It drilled 764 feet
at an average speed of 28 feet/hour.
"The Pexus had comparable vibration
and tool face control, but drilled 1,168
feet at an average speed of 38 feet/hour,"
he reports. "Because of the gouging action's efficiency, it also required 65 percent
less weight on bit."
Another Canadian operator chose a
gouging hybrid to drill laterals in an area
with abrasive sands containing hard
dolomite stringers. According to Miller,

138 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

most of the offsets drilled 1,000-2,000
feet. By prefracturing the rock and keeping
the cutting structure sharp through the
stringers, the Pexus not only drilled the
first lateral leg, but also pulled back into
the hole to perform an open-hole sidetrack
and complete the second leg to total depth
on the same BHA.
"In total, the hybrid drilled 9,000 feet,"
Miller reports. "This is one of the first
times we have seen any bit complete both
a lateral and a sidetrack through dolomite
stringers, and it did it at an ROP about 30
percent faster than the offsets."
Miller points out that Shear Bits is
adapting the gouging hybrid concept to
remove frac plugs and sleeves. "Because
frac plugs and sleeves have so many components and parts, there are a lot of interrupted cuts," Miller says. "Gouging inserts
can protect the cutters and help them
transition from one material to another."
In one application, the plug and sleeve
bit drilled 30 percent faster than roller
cones and 43 percent faster than reverse
clutch mills, says J.J. Herman, the company's co-founder. In another, a single
bit drilled 34 frac sleeves before being
pulled out of hole to drill seven more in
another well.
"The strength of the gouging mill is
that the cutting structure stays sharp from
the beginning of the run to the end," Herman comments. "As a result, it maintains
higher efficiency and gage throughout,
making it easier to put tools down the
well in the future."
Roller Cone Inserts
Leveraging more than a century of research and development, Smith Bits, a
Schlumberger company, reports it has
developed roller cone cutter configurations
that withstand high temperatures and long
run times when drilling through soft to
ultrahard formations.
As an example, Bit and Drilling Tools
Product Champion Wiley Long presents
the Xplorer Helix™ spiral tungsten carbide insert configuration for the company's premium performance roller cone
bit family.
"Conventional cutting structures feature
concentric rows of teeth that create ridges
of rock. This works, but the teeth often
track into grooves and craters in between
the ridges," Long says. "In addition to
wasting energy, tracking can damage the
inserts. By staggering them in a spiral



American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

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