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Case Study: Optimized Bit Increases ROP 30% and Sets Single-Run Drilling Record in Algeria

PDC with ONYX cutters drills 950-m, 12 1/4-in section at an average ROP of 11.78 m/h

Challenge: Drill a 900-m, 12 1/4-in section in Teguentour field, Algeria in a single run and at an ROP exceeding 8.27 m/h.

Solution: Design and run an application-specific drill bit fitted with ONYX PDC cutters for increased durability.

Result: Eliminated multiple runs, increased ROP by 30%, reducing the cost per meter by 26%.

Formation properties required multiple runs

12 1/4-in vertical sections in Teguentour field, Algeria must be drilled through formations with an unconfined compressive strength (UCS) that ranges from 1,000 to 25,000 psi. The abrasive Strunian interval, with an average thickness of 225 m and which is composed of mudstone, sandstone, and siltstone, was causing significant impact damage and wear on bits. Because of this condition, each section was requiring multiple trips. To improve project economics, the operator wanted a bit with a durable cutting structure, which could drill an entire 12 1/4-in section in one run at an acceptable ROP.

Drill bit optimized for application specifics

To improve drilling performance, Smith Bits engineers used several software resources: IDEAS integrated drillbit design platform enabled bit designers to produce a bit optimized for every element of the BHA. They also used data from adjacent wells, DRS drilling records system, and DBOS drillbit optimization system to accurately define dynamic rock-cutter interaction. Finite element analysis and multiple simulations in a virtual drilling environment were also conducted using i-DRILL engineered drilling system design to identify the most suitable bit design and drilling parameters.

Analyzing drilling assembly dynamics through multiple formations with varying compressive strength is essential before drilling performance for such an application can be optimized.

A 12 1/4-in MSi816BPX drill bit equipped with ONYX cutters was finally selected. ONYX cutters remain sharp longer than most other premium and standard cutters, which equates to more footage drilled at maximum ROP for a reduced cost. And, its thermally stable polycrystalline diamond enhanced gauge would provide extra protection.

Single-run record set and USD 73,000 saved

The bit drilled 950 m at an average ROP of 11.78 m/h, completing the 12 1/4-in section in one run. Compared with an offset well that required three bits to drill an 805-m section, at an average ROP of 8.27 m/h, the 12 1/4-in PDC with ONYX cutters eliminated additional runs, improved ROP, and lowered the cost per meter by 26%.


Download: Optimized Bit Increases ROP 30% and Sets Single-Run Drilling Record in Algeria (0.71 MB PDF)

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Drilling performance for PDC bit optimized with ONYX cutters.
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