The paper describes application of a new reaming tool utilized for dedicated reaming and reaming-while-drilling operations in multiple wells in the Williston Basin of North Dakota, where its use has eliminated the dedicated reamer run at TD while delivering good wellbore condition that enables multiple swell packers to be run in a single, fast trip.


Today, the industry is moving toward solutions that take a long-term view of the life of the well, requiring a more blended / integrated approach to the way wells are planned, drilled, completed, and produced. The ultimate goal of today's wells include a safe - cost effective well that comes on line quickly and can maximize production for years to come, as well as being a repeatable process that is effective 100% of the time.

However some industry reports estimate that 10–20% of production liners being run today do not reach the specific landing depth targeted. This of course adversely affects long term production and increases the short term costs of well. The equipment is often damaged, placing extra demands on rig personal, and increasing both time and costs.

To enhance production and improve recovery processes, an effective approach has been to integrate production engineering with drilling strategies to design a well program that optimizes hole sizes, casing sizes, well positions, etc., to maximize long-term hydrocarbon production.

Use of such a multi-faceted approach begins with combining the requirements of both the drilling and production groups, with the ultimate objective being to increase and maximize production from a safe, cost-effectively drilled well. In this case, the strategy integrates specific objectives / technology for improving the success of landing the liner on depth and helping drill a cost-effective, smooth, gauge hole in Bakken shale wells.

Having a smooth, well-conditioned, gauge hole enables the largest, most-effective and highest number of packers to be run. Further, when the hole is drilled using reaming while drilling techniques described, excellent hole quality can be achieved without the need for dedicated clean out runs, while an enhanced packer design also aids in getting the liner down.


In the Williston Basin, a Bakken well completion can require running as many as 35 swell packers to bottom, making good wellbore condition critical in enabling multiple packers to be run and set at TD in a timely fashion. Historically, best drilling practices in these wells have required a dedicated reamer run at TD to ensure successful swellable packer installation in a single run; however, introduction of a new drilling enhancement reaming tool has changed that practice. (1)

URTeC 1619201

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