Rock-Strength Analysis and Integrated FEA Modeling Optimize Bit Selection

Topics: Drilling

Well X is a deepwater exploration well with a carbonate primary target. Traditionally, bit records from offset wells or fields have been the only main source of data for bit selection. Often, bit selection has been trial-and-error because of limited data availability. Now, however, rock‑strength-analysis (RSA) software is a requirement for prejob planning to select a bit. Using log data from offset wells, a bit-selection software based on unconfined compressive strength (UCMPS) calculations has been used to optimize the bit selection for Well X.

Comprehensive RSA for Bit Selection

RSA software generated a comprehensive formation-evaluation and bit-selection analysis for a drilling application. Mud logs from offset wells were used to interpret the rock type. Some electronic logs that have petrographic analysis capability, such as gamma-ray, compressional sonic, density, neutron, and resistivity analysis, quantified the rock appearance and percentage depth-by-depth. The RSA software provided 18 rock types to be analyzed, from sedimentary rocks, such as sandstone, claystone, and limestone, to hard igneous and volcanic rocks.

Bits were selected on the basis of their capability to drill a formation with a certain hardness. On the basis of that study, compressional sonic logs converted to shear sonic, combined with the formation type, can be used to calculate the UCMPS of the formation. Apart from drilling parameters, UCMPS is the main contributor to rate of penetration (ROP). UCMPS is also used to calculate abrasion and impact index of the formation. On the basis of the lithology to be drilled, rock UCMPS, formation abrasion, and impact index, the RSA application uses offset-well data from more than 12,500 wells to choose a fixed or roller-cone drill bit with an appropriate combination of cutting structure, gauge protection, hydraulic configuration, and other critical characteristics.

With the RSA software, formation characteristics from offset wells can be analyzed. To expand the scope of the formation analysis, several wells from surrounding fields in the same regional geology also have been correlated and analyzed.

A polycrystalline-diamond-compact (PDC) -bit selector in the RSA software considers the blade count of the bit, the cutter size, and the blade profile on the basis of the compressive strength, formation abrasion, and formation impact. The harder the formation is, the software will recommend fewer blades and smaller cutter sizes for the bit to improve durability. If the formation consists mostly of shale and claystone, bit-balling flags will be generated and the bit should have better hydraulic optimization to improve bit cleaning. To reduce the risk of having an undergauge bit because of abrasion, proper gauge protection should be added to the bit.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 186264, “Rock-Strength Analysis and Integrated FEA Modeling Optimize Bit Selection for Deepwater Exploration Drilling,” by M.R. Yoan Mardiana and Bonar Noviasta, SPE, Schlumberger, prepared for the 2017 SPE/IATMI Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia, 17–19 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Rock-Strength Analysis and Integrated FEA Modeling Optimize Bit Selection

01 December 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 12