AxeBlade Bit Helps Shell Set Footage and ROP World Record with a Single Run, Offshore Louisiana

Published: 06/05/2017

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Drilling salt section in single run

Shell planned to drill a 13,674-ft [4,167-m] salt section of a deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). In addition to the required 42° build, the objective was to use a single bit run to achieve a high ROP of 275 ft/h [83.82 m/h] with reduced torque.

Graph - The AxeBlade bit outperformed the bits used on offset wells on several metrics.
The AxeBlade bit outperformed the bits used on offset wells on several metrics.

Use an AxeBlade bit to reduce torque fluctuation and increase ROP

Shell opted to run a BHA incorporating an AxeBlade bit and PowerDrive Orbit RSS. Based on data from the IDEAS integrated dynamic design and analysis platform, the proposed 16 1/2-in AxeBlade bit was designed specifically to drill the targeted salt section at a higher ROP. Analysis showed that the unique geometry of the ridged diamond elements would generate less on-bottom torque as compared to conventional 16 1/2-in fixed cutter bits.

Drilled 5,353 ft in 24 hours while exceeding expected ROP

The AxeBlade bit and PowerDrive Orbit RSS delivered record-setting footage of 13,674 ft [4,167 m] in 45 drilling hours and an average on-bottom ROP of 305 ft/h [93 m/h]—a 100% improvement from the field median ROP. Moreover, between drilling the entire interval in a single run achieving TD at 25,817 ft [7,869 m], the high ROP enabled Shell to become the first deepwater Gulf of Mexico operator to drill 5,353 ft [1,632 m] in a 24-hour period.

Location
Gulf of Mexico, United States, North America, Offshore
Details

Challenge: Reduce torque while drilling a long salt section at a high rate of penetration and building the angle from 0° to 42°.

Solution: Run a PowerDrive Orbit rotary steerable system fitted with a 16 1/2-in X716 AxeBlade ridged diamond element bit optimized for drilling salt at a higher ROP with less downhole torque.

Results: 
  • Established Shell as the first deepwater GOM operator to drill 5,353 ft [1,632 m] in a 24-h period.
  • Improved ROP 100% over field median ROP, setting footage and ROP world records.
  • Drilled the entire interval in a single run.
Products Used