Date: 10/27/2017


When conventional bits won't cut it

Before drilling a fourth well in the Volgograd Region of Russia, RITEK knew that downhole conditions presented a formidable challenge to success. Lying in wait: a high unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of up to 45,000 psi [310.26 MPa], interbedded soft and hard formations, and a high risk of impact damage.

The conventional bit on hand wasn’t going to cut it.

RITEK decided that these tough conditions demanded a custom-made bit. It decided to use a customized AxeBlade ridged diamond element bit with strategically placed Stinger conical diamond elements to quickly drill to TD with minimal damage. Not only had the customized AxeBlade bit let RITEK drill a 56% longer distance than the best field result, but it also ramped up ROP to 46% above the best in the field—simultaneously reducing drilling time by 3 days and saving USD 75,000 while building the 8.5-in section.

In fact, the bit constantly amplified ROP throughout the drilling process, eventually scoring an ROP of 36.7 ft/h [11.2 m/h] before reaching TD at 5,325 ft [1,623 m].

But it wasn’t all about the ROP.

The customized AxeBlade bit with Stinger elements was the ideal bit design for both hard and soft formations. With strategically placed cutters that have high-impact resistance, RITEK was free to shear and crush the softer formations knowing that the Stinger elements would handle the initial shock of a hard formation. If they were going to drill 3,116.8 ft [950 m] through a high-impact section—hard limestone interbedded with anhydrite, dolomite, and claystone—they needed a bit that could hold up under harsh impacts while carving through soft formations.

When retrieved, the bit showed only minimum dullness. This was the first time in the field that a bit was in good enough condition to be rerun in another well.

Love this story but want more technical detail? Read the case study below.

Case Study: AxeBlade Bit Helps Operator Save USD 75,000, Volgograd Region of Russia

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