Government of India has set an ambitious target of reducing hydrocarbon import. Increasing oil & gas production is one of the measures by which oil & gas import dependency can be reduced. Despite relatively low crude prices globally, substantial E&P activities have been carried out in the country in the last decade, which has witnessed an exponential increase in exploration of oil and gas reserves. Many new fields were discovered during this exploration campaign out of which, few are potential traps containing hydrocarbons. Kutch and Saurashtra Basin off Gujarat coast is one of the exploration fields that involves trap drilling to explore reservoir sands below. Recently for the very first time, in a decade, oil reserves have been discovered in prospective sedimentary basin of Saurashtra. (DGH India Outlook, 2017-18)

Drilling in this basin is characterized by slow rate of penetration (ROP), frequent bit trips, drill string failure, and high well cost. The 12 1/4-in section in this offshore block typically drills through very hard, abrasive and thick layers of Basaltic formation (known as Deccan Trap) with unconfined compressive strength (UCS) between 18-42 kpsi. Conventional polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits and roller cone (RC) bits faced extreme cutting structure damage and delivered poor ROPs in this section. In this paper, challenges of drilling approximately 2,200 m of hard and abrasive Deccan Trap in the 12.25-in section is discussed along with a proposed solution of hybrid bit design by combining conical (CDE) and ridged (RDE) diamond elements.

Two new hybrid 8-bladed 16-mm bit were specifically designed for this application. The first bit drilled an interval of 952m with an average ROP of 1.9m/hr and the second bit drilled an interval of 960m with an average ROP of 1.83m/hr. Both the bits came out of the hole in good condition, thereby delivering a benchmark performance in drilling this challenging section. The runs resulted in 40% reduction in cost/meter for this section and saved 36 offshore days for the customer.

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