Pursuit of drilling the technical limit has been a primary driver of cost and cycle time reduction from the onset in North America shale. This is increasingly evident in today's downhole mud motors, where motors designed to drill in 6.75 in. hole are now rated for 500+hp and over 10,000 ft-lbs of torque. Every unit of power added stresses current materials to the limit and increases the risk of mechanical failure. As will be demonstrated in the following sections, the increased power delivered to the bit now exceeds the strength and reliability of the standard 3 ½ REG connection for drill bits. The integrity and longevity of the drill bit pin connections is the primary focus of this paper.
Details are provided of the technical aspects of drill bit solutions that meet current drilling requirements and recognizes industry trends that will continue to present future challenges for bit connections. This paper also describes the collaborative partnership between an operator and bit service provider that led to success and the development of a long term plan for continuing success.