Technical Paper: Solving Hard/Abrasive Sedimentary and Igneous Formation Challenge: New PDC Bit Design Reduces 6-in Section Drilling Time by 47%

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 166750
Presentation Date: 2013
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The 6” hole section in Raageshwari Field NW India (onshore) is typically between 600-800m long and highly challenging in terms of formation strength and abrasiveness. Lithology in the upper part is composed of sandstone, claystone and weathered basalt with unconfined compressive strength (UCS) between 3-5kpsi. The lower section contains basalt, felsic and sub-felsic igneous formations with UCS range of 15-30kpsi. 

Historically, a two bit strategy was employed. First, a PDC bit on a positive displacement motor (PDM) bottom hole assembly was used to drill the soft 6” section until ROP dropped to an unacceptable level. The BHA was then pulled and followed by a diamond impregnated bit on a turbine BHA to drill the very hard volcanics. Typical average on-bottom ROP for the entire section was 4.5m/hr and took approximately 170 hours to reach total depth (TD). 

To reduce costs, new technology was proposed to improve bit durability in the hard/abrasive volcanics and drill the entire 6” section in one run at a higher ROP. Recent bit and drilling data from offset wells was analyzed to assist in developing a new, cost effective PDC design to replace the expensive diamond-impregnated bits and drill the 6” hole section in one run. The study resulted in a new six-bladed PDC bit with 13mm cutters that incorporates superior cutter technology to improve durability and resist physical and thermal degradation. The design includes a row of backup cutters in the shoulder area to increase radial diamond volume for maximum durability. 

The new PDC bits have been run on a motor and rotary steerable bottom hole assemblies and drilled the 6” section on three consecutive wells in Raageshwari field totaling 2328 meters with an average ROP of 10.7m/hr. This represents approx. 47% decrease in drilling time compared to that previously achieved by Impreg/TCI bit runs. Typically, the new bits are pulled in re-runable condition. This improved performance has saved the operator approximately six-days of rig time and approximately USD 480,000/well.

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