Innovation of 3D shaped cutters for polycrystalline diamond compact bits is evolving as drilling operators desire to drill faster in challenging and complex geologies, including medium-strength and interbedded formations. A new cutting element that is enabling operators to improve ROP in these formations are StrataBlade concave diamond element bits by Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company. StrataBlade bits feature unique geometry cutters designed to save rig time and costs by delivering faster, instantaneous ROP.
With drill bits, there are two primary ways that they can contribute to reducing drilling costs: first, by increasing ROP to reduce on-bottom drilling time, and secondly, by increasing durability to eliminate costly bit trips. The challenge is finding the right solution that enables achieving both objectives. The distinctive concave feature of StrataBlade bits decreases the effective cutter back-rake angle that enables cutting deeper into abrasive and impact-prone rock. Its form consisting a pointed ridged tip with a thick diamond layer improves point loading to enable deeper drilling and increased footage without adding WOB. For deep lateral wells where weight transfer to the bit is a challenge, the cutting element delivers better torque response at the bit for superior steerability and conformance to directional plans.
In 2020, after extensive laboratory scrape tests and simulations, StrataBlade bits underwent more than 100 field tests in North America, with more than 95% of these runs delivering significant improvement in ROP when compared with their direct offsets. In early field testing in the Marcellus Shale, an operator achieved higher instantaneous ROP with the same WOB and rpm as compared with offset wells using benchmark bits. In another field test, an operator in the Haynesville Basin achieved an average ROP increase of 28% compared with offset average performance and drilled shoe-to-shoe intervals in a single run.
StrataBlade bits are widely being used in the U.S. across all major shale play basins. Deployments have also expanded to Canada, Russia, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Brazil; in applications ranging from horizontal intervals in unconventional land wells to those in deepwater offshore wells.
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