Self-Adjusting Drill Bit

Baker Hughes introduced the TerrAdapt adaptive drill bit, which can autonomously adjust depth-of-cut (DOC) control, to mitigate stick/slip and expand the smooth drilling window with no interaction from surface. Managing the DOC on a bit helps to optimize its performance in a particular formation. With conventional bits, operators are limited to a single DOC control setting. Consequently, drilling through varying layers of rock notoriously causes torsional vibrations and stick/slip. These torsional oscillations typically result in erratic rate of penetration (ROP) and footage, damage to the bottomhole assembly/bit, and costly nonproductive time (NPT). Operators have traditionally resorted to manually controlled drilling techniques implemented at surface to try to mitigate downhole dysfunctions, but with limited success and at the cost of reduced ROP and drilling efficiency. The drill bit features revolutionary adaptive DOC-control elements that automatically adjust the bit’s aggressiveness on the basis of the operating conditions, mitigating stick/slip and enabling faster, more-consistent performance regardless of varying lithology. When torsional vibrations are detected, the bit’s elements extend to maintain stable drilling. As vibrations subside, the elements slowly retract, enabling maximum ROP. The elements have a tuned hydro-mechanical response to loading conditions, preventing dynamic instability and cutter damage.

The TerrAdapt adaptive drill bit from Baker Hughes.