AxeBlade Ridged Diamond Element Bit Doubles Footage, Increases ROP 41% in Woodford Shale | SLB

AxeBlade Ridged Diamond Element Bit Doubles Footage, Increases ROP 41% in Woodford Shale

Published: 11/19/2019

Blue hero texture
Chart shows using the AxeBlade bit, BP drilled 4,916 ft at an ROP of 82 ft/h.
Using the AxeBlade bit, BP drilled 4,916 ft at an ROP of 82 ft/h—setting new records for footage and ROP.

Optimize pad drilling efficiency

To maintain the economic viability of its unconventional gas resources in the Woodford Shale, BP strives to optimize the time and cost of its operations by maximizing ROP, increasing lateral lengths, and implementing a multiwell pad drilling strategy. While these practices improve drilling efficiency, they also result in increasingly complex well profiles.

In particular, the 8 3/4-in curve section required significant directional control to maximize pay zone exposure and mitigate the risk of wellbore collision while drilling multiple wells from the same pad. Reaching the target zone required BP to drill through formations consisting of intercalated sandstone, limestone, and shale. To streamline the drilling process, BP challenged Schlumberger to drill the curve and lateral sections using the same BHA. Drilling both sections through this challenging lithology demanded a unique bit with the optimal balance of direction control, durability, and ROP.

Use AxeBlade bit to improve ROP and bit life

Schlumberger engineers worked closely with the BP team to improve drilling performance in the curve and lateral sections. Using offset well data imported into the DBOS drillbit optimization system, Schlumberger was able to identify formation challenges and determine the ideal cutting structure to improve drilling performance. Additionally, engineers used the IDEAS integrated dynamic design and analysis platform to predict future BHA behavior and design an application-specific bit. Schlumberger proposed using an 8 3/4-in AxeBlade bit to drill the curve and continue into the lateral section. The unique ridged geometry of the Axe ridged diamond elements enabled the bit to increase penetration rates, generate less torque, and deliver better toolface control throughout the challenging interval. Its thick diamond layer maximized bit durability—delivering high ROP throughout the run.

Drilled curve and lateral in one run

Using the AxeBlade bit, BP drilled the entire 618-ft curve and more than half of the 8,228-ft lateral section in a single run. The run set a record ROP of 82 ft/h—41% faster than the previous best run. Additionally, the innovative bit enabled BP to double the footage achieved using one BHA, saving up to 20 h of rig time.

Woodford Shale, United States, North America, Onshore

CHALLENGE: Achieve consistent build rates, reduce drilling time, and maximize pay zone exposure during a multiwell pad drilling campaign in the Woodford Shale.

SOLUTION: Use an AxeBlade ridged diamond element bit to maximize durability and ROP while drilling the curve and lateral sections with the same BHA.


  • Achieved 82 ft/h ROP, setting a new field record for highest ROP during a curve and lateral run.
  • Increased ROP 41% compared with the best offset run.
  • Doubled footage length compared with previous wells using third-party bits.
  • Drilled curve and 4,916 ft of the lateral section with one bit, eliminating a trip to change the BHA and saving up to 20 hours of rig time.
  • Turned the well trajectory from 250° to 180° while drilling the curve section.
Products Used