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Technical Paper: Increasing Drilling Efficiency in Saudi Arabia Gas Development Project: Consistent Incremental Gains Significantly Improve Project Economics

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 18558
Presentation Date: 2015
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Abstract

Because of high formation pressure in certain formations, there are three different casing designs available, including slim-bore wells and big-bore wells. The slim-bore wells are 12-in hole section applications, and big-bore wells drilled as 16-in hole sections. In 12-in slim-bore wells, a major challenge is to drill through different carbonate formations with unconfined compressive strength (UCS) between 10,000 and 30,000 psi with hard streaks peaking at 40,000 psi toward section end. Another challenge in the lower section is high formation abrasiveness, which increases PDC cutter wear rate and slows ROP to an unacceptable rate of less that 10 ft/h before reaching TD.

The challenges of this extensively drilled application are well known, and the most efficient bit design to date is a seven-bladed PDC with 16-mm cutters. The existing PDC delivers and acceptable ROP, but its dull condition suggests that a more efficient cutting structure would improve project economics in areas of slim-bore wells where the operator expected poor performance.

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