PDC bits are still confronted with performance challenges, especially in hard and/or abrasive formations. In most instances, the bit development or selection process compromises ROP for durability or vice versa. These solutions do not create the types of conditions needed to ensure the expected measurable gains in performance. As such effective product development, which targets the ROP/durability relationship, based on the performance optimization requirements of different applications, must be sought.

This paper will discuss field proven design processes and technologies, which have successfully been used to improve PDC bit performance in harsh drilling environments. The importance and contributions of bit stabilization in this effort, as well as its effects on ROP and durability, will be discussed.

As part of the product development processes that will be presented in this paper, drilling efficiency (DE) will also be discussed. In addition, the effect and influences of bit durability on drilling efficiency will be presented. Field data showing the positive impact of the new process on PDC bit performance, especially in hard and/or abrasive formations, will also be presented.

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