The Application of Advanced PDC Concepts Proves Effective in South Texas
- J.S. Dahlem (Dresser Security) | R.L. Baxter (Enron Oil & Gas) | K.E. Dunn (Conoco Inc.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- December 1996
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 221 - 227
- 1996. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.5 Drill Bits, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.5.1 Bit Design, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment
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Over the years, a variety of problems with PDC bit design and application has been well documented. The industry has discovered that many of these inherent problems can be explained as being caused by `bit whirl'. The goal of most PDC manufacturers and the subject of this paper is the development of a better-performing, `whirl resistant' PDC bit. Similarly, the goal for most operators is the decreased costs which are a direct result of the effective application of such bits. The possibility of decreased cost due to improved performance has led to most operators focusing on their PDC operations in order to lend assistance to the industry and to bit manufacturers in all phases of bit development and application.
This paper discusses a cooperative development effort between operators and manufacturer to effectively apply advanced concepts to the design, manufacture and application of a new series of PDC bits in South Texas. The paper describes PDC design concepts such as force balanced cutting structures, asymmetric blade layouts, spiral blade designs, and tracking cutter arrangements. Such design principles are shown to be effective in countering the destructive effects of `bit whirl' and allow the PDC bit to be utilized in harder formations. A presentation of performance data, operational details, and economic analyses concerning the use of these bits in several south Texas fields is given. The cooperative effort between operators and manufacturer to develop the advanced PDC concepts is discussed.
This paper presents the results of a project to develop PDC bits for specific application in the intermediate section of the Wilcox (Lobo Trend) area of South Texas (Figure 1). The overall goal of the project was to improve PDC bit performance and, thus, reduce drilling cost. The project involved a joint development effort between the operators and the bit manufacturer. The operators' drilling departments worked jointly with the bit design and application engineers to develop PDC bits for their specific applications. The direct benefit of a joint development effort to the operators was the significant savings that would be realized as a result of improved bit performance.
Over the past decade, it has been well documented how PDC application in the production section of the Lobo Trend has reduced drilling costs by as much as 30%. These savings were first realized in the early 1980's when the standard practice was to displace the water base mud with an invert-emulsion oil mud. The use of oil mud in the production section of the Lobo Trend proved extremely beneficial to the performance of PDC bits. The synergism between PDC bits and oil mud resulted in increased rates of penetration, increased bit life and decreased drilling cost. The cost savings were so dramatic that the use of oil mud and PDC bits in the production section became the standard practice at the time. Recent work has led to the development and current use of an ROP-enhanced water base/terpene mud system in the production section.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||7|