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Xplorer Premium Roller Cone Drill Bits

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Custom-designed roller cone bits to achieve your drilling objectives

Smith Bits engineers more than a century of drilling expertise and experience into every Xplorer premium performance roller cone drill bit. We start by designing each bit using the proprietary IDEAS integrated dynamic design and analysis platform to ensure optimal drilling dynamics. As a result, Xplorer bits provide a range of options to help achieve your drilling objectives, no matter the depth or formation. Premium cutting structures, materials, and hydraulic options customize your application-specific bits for maximizing performance and durability in any environment.

Xplorer Premium Roller Cone Drill Bits

Xplorer Helix spiral TCI configuration

Xplorer Helix bit

The Xplorer Helix configuration features a proprietary spiral layout of the TCI inserts that improves ROP over 20%—and even past 50% in some conditions. The staggered configuration means the inserts provide better bottomhole coverage, which increases rock-crushing efficiency.

Conventional bit cutting structures feature typical rows of teeth that lead to ridges of rock, causing the bit to track into the grooves or craters. The Xplorer Helix configuration is designed to counteract tracking by staggering the inserts into a spiral array. Developed using the IDEAS integrated dynamic design and analysis platform, manufacturing of a bit with the Xplorer Helix configuration requires intricate planning so that the staggering of inserts do not interfere with patterns on the other two cones of the bit.

Xplorer Gemini dynamic twin-seal technology

Xplorer Gemini Seal Technology

Offering two precisely configured seals with excellent material properties, Xplorer Gemini dynamic twin-seal technology for drill bits exhibit consistent performance over long run intervals. Available for both tungsten carbide insert (TCI) or milled tooth (MT) bits, the dual-seal system ensures high reliability for extended time periods, even with high rpm, heavy weight on bit (WOB), high mud weight, and severe dogleg.

The primary seal protects the bearings with a wear-resistant, dynamic face elastomer and a softer energizing material that exerts consistent (but not excessive) pressure. It is bullet shaped with a large cross-sectional profile to protect the bearing.

A secondary seal protects the primary seal. It guards against abrasive particles in the wellbore fluids that contact the bearing seal. A proprietary thermoplastic fabric is positioned on the seal’s dynamic face to resist wearing, tearing, and heat damage.

Xplorer Shamal carbonate-optimized insert

Xplorer Shamal Technology

Initially created for carbonate lithologies in the Middle East, the Xplorer Shamal inserts (TCI) elevate application-based drillbit design in a wide range of environments. With a specially designed insert shape, bits using these TCI cutting elements deliver maximum toughness for carbonate-based drilling operations around the world.

Xplorer Kaldera high-temperature seals

Xplorer Kaldera Seal Technology

The Xplorer Kaldera high-temperature (HT) seal for roller cone bits is specially designed to endure high-temperature drilling environments like geothermal wells for extended periods.

In many cases, the tungsten carbide insert (TCI) roller cone bits used to drill hard and abrasive lithologies to access steam or hot rock in basement formations are exposed to temperatures that exceed 500 degF. Under these conditions, a standard 300 degF-rated bit’s elastomer seals and lubricating material quickly degrades, causing bearing failure, resulting in operational inefficiencies: reduced on-bottom drilling hours leading to multiple bit runs and increased development costs.

Designed with the IDEAS integrated design platform, Xplorer Kaldera seals are specialized fabric compounds and a proprietary high-temperature grease formula. These innovations increase seal life, lubricity, and load capacity at elevated temperatures for HT applications. Proven durability in high-temperature applications.

Tested against baseline bits, in geothermal superheated steam applications where temperatures can reach 530 degF, Xplorer Kaldera HT seals on a bit resulted in top performance, including:

  • on-bottom drilling time was 3% to 37% greater
  • average run length was 33% greater.

Xplorer TCT two-cone drill bits 

Smith Bits TCT two-cone drill bits are designed using the dynamic modeling capabilities of the IDEAS integrated design platform. Extensive analysis ensures that the cutting structure layout optimally exploits the bit’s unique characteristics. Two-cone bits have lower tooth counts than equivalent three-cone bits and higher point loading per tooth for improved formation penetration. They also benefit from current technology for enhanced insert geometries and the latest carbides and hardfacing materials.

Two-cone bits have four points of stabilization. The lug-pad and leg-back placement, along with the forging geometry, reduces vibration, increases bit life, and enables a higher ROP. In addition, the lug pads and leg backs are protected by TCIs to stabilize the bit and ensure a full-gauge wellbore.

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World Record Broken for Cumulative Footage Drilled

4 3/4-in Xplorer Slimhole TCI Drill Bit
Using 4 3/4-in Xplorer slimhole TCI bits for two wells, the operator experienced optimal drillbit consistency, drilling a total of 15,172 ft. Read case study

Xplorer Nomenclature

Xplorer Nomenclature
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Xplorer Milled Tooth

Explorer Expanded Nomenclature
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