A Broad Approach to Drill Bit Performance

Source: SPE 167956.
The rotating cutter designed by Schlumberger is marked by a red dot, and its reduced wear is compared with nearby fixed cutters.

The variables defining drill-bit performance cover a lot of ground. There is a lot of attention given to cutters studding diamond drill bits, but just as important are what is in the rest of the drillstring and the decisions made by the driller.

Companies looking for an edge in drilling performance are working on building tougher drill bits and better ways to control them to avoid destructive moments.

“To make a bit last longer, we have to look at the larger picture and take a systems approach to everything,” said Chris Charles, director of technology at Baker Hughes Drill Bits ­product line.

Below is a sampling of ideas, many of them presented at the recent IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas. It shows the range of possibilities from work performed by companies in the field.

Rotating Edge

When a drill bit is running, a relatively small part of the circular diamond edge on top of the tungsten carbide base is coming in contact with the rock as the bit rotates.

Schlumberger’s Smith Bits changed that fact of life with a new design that allows a cutter to rotate while drilling by placing it within a specially designed housing. The Onyx Roll Cutter 360 design is supposed to allow drill bits to stay sharp longer by constantly changing the cutting surface.

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A Broad Approach to Drill Bit Performance

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 June 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 6