Achieving balance between performance and longevity of drilling motors is a constant struggle. Operating above recommended parameters delivers higher Rates of Penetration (ROP) but can be too aggressive, causing accelerated component wear and potentially, premature failure. Conservative operation decreases the component wear but can be detrimental to drilling performance. A novel approach to controlling motor performance allows operators to operate at specified limits while preventing load spikes that damage motors.

Stalling is a problem that affects bearing loading, occasionally leading to driveshaft torsional failure, but more commonly causing power section damage in the stator, reported as chunking. Chunking occurs when the elastomer in the stator has reached the fatigue limit and small pieces break free of the profile. The output performance of the power section decreases as the effective area of power section is reduced and it becomes less efficient. Reduction in output performance decreases ROP and operators will typically push motors harder to maintain ROP, further accelerating the time to failure.

An innovative internal device prevents premature failure by limiting the amount of differential pressure applied across the motor. Excess pressure is relieved by porting fluid through the center of the rotor, bypassing the power section inlet. Rotational speed decreases as flow into the power section is decreased. The pre-determined relief point is adjustable to optimize motor performance for specific applications. Preventing motor damage delivers longer drilling hours with reduced unplanned trips.

Field testing of the device has resulted in a significant reduction in motor component damage. ROP improved and was consistent through the drilling program with the controlled and steady operation of the device. Cost per foot decreased as longer intervals were drilled per motor. This device gives operators a new tool to optimize motor performance.

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