Abstract

Deep wells drilled in the past 2 years have resulted in record penetration rates and/or best bit records for several drilling areas of the Delaware Basin. The West Texas counties involved are shown on the Delaware Basin map, Fig. 1.

The drilling time and bit records for these wells are some of the best in the industry. These wells have been described as drilling like they were in a "snowbank". Actually, the wells are the result of proper planning and good well supervision. A study of deep drilling practices shows that the same operators using practices shows that the same operators using good methods of planning and execution consistently drill better, more economical holes regardless of the drilling area.

The records have been set by using good preliminary planning and excellent well preliminary planning and excellent well supervision. The use of the new journal bearing button bits, low solids nondispersed fresh-water muds and innovative drilling technology has contributed greatly to the success. Careful control of low-gravity drilled solids was practiced in maintaining the mud systems, where practiced in maintaining the mud systems, where feasible clear water was used for the drilling fluid.

A good corrosion-control program combined with a drillpipe inspection program has minimized drillpipe failure.

Completed well costs for the 21,000-plus-ft wells were $2.25 to $2.50 million. Offset wells averaged $2.5 to $3.5 million or more.

Introduction

When a fast, economical well is drilled, the operator nearly always hears a certain amount of conversation that goes something like this: "That well drilled like it was in a snowbank. It's a lot softer over there. Just wait until they drill over here where it's hard."

These comments are often made when two wells are direct offsets. The success of the faster well is usually attributed to luck or soft formations. Rarely is credit given to the fact that the hole was well planned and properly supervised. properly supervised. In the past 2 years, several deep Delaware Basin wells have been drilled in record time with a record number of bits used. (See Table 1.) These wells are some of the best in the industry. The mud costs are low.

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