Spear Bit Sets ROP Record, Saves USD 46,780 While Drilling in Eagle Ford Shale, South Texas

Published: 07/01/2011

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Balanced PDC bit for directional control and high ROP required

Operators working the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas have experienced costly NPT as a result of multiple runs needed to drill curve and lateral hole sections. The operator wanted a PDC drill bit that would increase ROP and total footage capabilities in the 8 3/4-in curve and lateral hole sections while providing good directional control at maximum penetration rates. With this request, a familiar technological dilemma emerged: PDC bits designed for curve sections deliver strong build capabilities and predictable directional control but often at the expense of acceptable ROP. Alternatively, bits intended for laterals produce high ROP but with lesser directional control capabilities. This technology gap required the choice between steerability performance and high ROP.

Smith Bits Solution: Spear PDC

Smith Bits engineers tailored Spear shale-optimized steel-body PDC drill bits to solve this application issue. Using IDEAS integrated drillbit design platform, engineers determined PDC bit body profile plays a major role in efficient cuttings removal for fast ROP. Based on knowledge gained from the in-depth analysis and field experience, Smith Bits developed a specific Spear PDC bit optimized for the Eagle Ford shale drilling application with the following technology platform:

  • Optimized hydraulics to clean debris from bit face and expose cutter edges to formation maximizing ROP
  • Bullet-shaped body allows cuttings to sweep around bit and into junk slots
  • Reduced body diameter increases distance between the borehole wall allowing the bit to pass over or through a cuttings bed without blade packing or nozzle plugging
  • Bit’s steel composition enables increased blade height and reduced width increasing junk slot area.
Images - Record setting Spear 8 ¾-in SDi513 steel-body PDC technology specifically designed for Eagle Ford Shale curve and lateral drilling applications
Record-setting Spear bit specifically designed for Eagle Ford shale curve and lateral drilling.
Graph - Spear case study well with total footage and ROP offset comparisons, Eagle Ford Shale - Webb County, Texas
Spear case study well with total footage and ROP offset comparisons, Eagle Ford Shale - Webb County, Texas

Value delivered

The Spear bit was run on a Schlumberger steerable motor and drilled 6,904 ft of curve and lateral hole section in one run at a record ROP of 64.83 ft/h. This represents the fastest curve and lateral run for the operator in the Eagle Ford shale play. Based on a comparison with the best offset run, the new Spear bit saved the operator USD 46,780 in rig time. Compared to the next four best offsets, the run saved significantly more rig time and overall drilling costs associated with multiple trips and bits required to complete curve and lateral hole sections.

Eagle Ford Shale, United States, North America, Onshore

Challenge: Drill the 8 3/4-in curve and lateral sections for an Eagle Ford shale well in one run while maintaining good directional control in the curve and high ROP in the lateral.

Solution: Run the innovative Spear steel-body PDC drill bit on a Schlumberger positive displacement motor.

Results: Saved USD 46,780 in rig time by drilling the curve and lateral in one run at a record ROP.

Products Used