Drillers have long used diamond-tipped bits to improve rates of penetration in challenging drilling situations. First used in coring bits around 1910, diamonds were incorporated into drill bits by the early 1920s. In the 1970s, synthetic diamonds, bonded on tungsten carbide, led to the development of fixed cutter polycrystalline diamond compact bits.
Fixed cutter bit durability has improved with the development of advanced materials and design. However, as horizontal drilling becomes the norm, and the success of many projects hinges on production from laterals, drillers need a bit that not only stands up to drilling challenges but also helps them drill long intervals with good rates of penetration.
To address these demands, design engineers developed the StingBlade conical diamond element bit. Incorporating a unique cutting element across the bit face, the new bit has been used to drill from casing shoe to casing point in a single run, including in formations in which historically such performances have been impossible. The StingBlade bit has also demonstrated an ability to substantially reduce the time required to drill curved sections, providing improved toolface control that allowed the driller to keep within targeted zones.
An article in the Oilfield Review, “A New Approach to Fixed Cutter Bits,” describes the new bit, its design, and its performance drilling some of the most challenging and complex formations in the world. A case history from the US illustrates how an operator was able to leverage the ability of the Stingblade bit to drill curved sections substantially faster than had been possible using a roller cone hybrid bit.
Oilfield Review is the Schlumberger flagship journal of technology, innovation and the science of E&P.
Azar, M., Long W, White, A., Copeland, C, Hepton, R. and Pak, M.: “A New Approach to Fixed Cutter Bits,” Oilfield Review (September 2015) 27, No. 2: 30-35.