Xplorer Helix Configuration Increases ROP by 70%, 37.5%, and 51.8% in Three Fields, Middle East

Published: 01/22/2018

Concrete blue texture
The Xplorer bit with Xplorer Helix configuration delivered an average ROP improvement of 70%, 37.5%, and 51.8% over

The SHARC PDC bit with Stinger element drilled 234 m at 15 m/h. The bit applied a WOB of 50 lbf until achieving section TD. After being pulled out of hole, the cutters exhibited low wear, showing that it could have been drilled for much longer.

Middle East, Asia, Onshore
Soft limestone and shale

Well type

Section length
Multiple sections from 450 to 1,200 m [1,476 to 3,937 ft]

Unconfined compressive strength (UCS)
27.6 to 55.1 MPa [4,000 to 8,000 psi]


An operator wanted to increase the average field ROP across multiple lateral wells in the Middle East. The sections ranged from 450 to 1,200 m in length and consisted of soft limestone—and the occasional shale string—with UCS ranging from 27.6 to 55.1 MPa. To facilitate this, the operator and Smith Bits decided to use a 6 1/8-in Xplorer premium roller cone drill bit with the Xplorer Helix spiral TCI configuration to achieve a continuous improvement in on-bottom ROP over the benchmark design.

Products Used