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Innovating While Drilling

PDC bit uses staggered cutter configuration to take energy from vibrations to drill ahead

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Excessive vibration caused by unrestrained lateral forces in directional wells can wreak havoc on drilling operations. In addition to reducing ROP, directional control (i.e., steerability) and overall drilling efficiency, torsional vibration at the bottomhole assembly (BHA) is often pegged as the source of a number of costly issues, including broken cutters, dull bits, trips and even damaged formations. To address such vibration-related problems, Ulterra Drilling Technologies has developed CounterForce, a patent-pending technology with a cutter orientation design inspired by the machining industry. It features a staggered cutter configuration capable of improving mechanical specific energy by dampening vibration, reducing bit reactive torque and redirecting force back into the rock. The cutting structure features pairs of cutters with opposing side rakes (angles), which allows the bit to harness reactive forces from the formation to counter the lateral forces from the drillstring.

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Deepwater, high-pressure completion tubular maximizes combined-load capabilities

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This article discusses a two-year comprehensive effort to design, test, manufacture and deploy a new high-pressure completion tubular for Chevron’s deepwater Gulf of Mexico operations. The major challenge was to design, test and manufacture a subsea completion string that would provide efficient hydraulics during the fracturing operations while ensuring mechanical and pressure integrity.

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High-cost subsea sector faces test of economics

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Risk, cost and safety and environmental concerns impact every aspect of oil and gas recovery, but these challenges are especially daunting in the subsea sector. Here, as operators drive into increasingly deeper reservoirs and high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) fields, a single failure can be catastrophic.

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On-command reamer allows for digital confirmation of multiple activations, blade status

The GaugePro Echo on-command digital reamer is downlink-activated and can be activated and reactivated as many times as necessary. This enables selective reaming of problem formations and sidetrack windows to facilitate open-hole sidetracks. The reamer also provides real-time confirmation of blade status and position.

Expandable reamers were developed to improve efficiencies and reduce risk when drilling through problematic formations in deepwater and other offshore wells. While mechanical and hybrid expandable underreamers have been used for some time in offshore applications, they have not provided the communication, operational reliability and flexibility that operators desire in high cost-per-foot drilling applications.

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D&C Tech Digest

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Subsea Services Alliance, the collaboration among Helix Energy Solutions Group, OneSubsea and Schlumberger, has announced the first joint technology project between OneSubsea and Helix to engineer and manufacture a 15,000-psi intervention riser system. This technology advances the alliance’s objectives to offer well intervention solutions to service the increasing number of high-pressure wells in the subsea environment. The system, which will be available on a rental basis in mid-2017, is being engineered and built at OneSubsea facilities in Leeds, UK

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Liner system designed to provide effective isolation in high-risk, high-cost HPHT wells

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Well environments with increasing pressures, temperatures and depths are becoming the norm in hydrocarbon recovery. These complex and harsh-environment reservoirs drive the need for high-performance completion systems with more durability and reliability than conventional equipment. Innovative technology is paving the way for the industry to delve further into these challenging and risky frontiers, in which the cost of failure is enormous. Liner systems provide a variety of benefits to enhance wellbore economics and efficiency. Installing a liner can reduce casing and cementing costs and minimize rig time. Liners enable the drilling of deep wells with smaller, more efficient rigs, and they facilitate efficient casing of open-hole sections below previously installed casing. Liner systems also ensure zonal isolation while reciprocating during well conditioning and while rotating during cementing operations. Additionally, they provide annular barriers relative to long casing strings that tie back to the surface.

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A bit of history: Overcoming early setbacks, PDC bits now drill 90%-plus of worldwide footage

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Editor’s note: This is an excerpted version of an article that appears in a new Drill Bits e-book that will be available through the IADC bookstore and e-bookstore later this year. Since the invention of the carbide-supported polycrystalline diamond cutter (PDC) by General Electric in 1971, this technology has impacted nearly all material removal industries. This article will trace the history and significant milestones of PDC technologies in the oil and gas well drilling industry since their introduction. This article will focus on advances in synthetic diamond cutters, bit design and other factors that have significantly increased drill bit performance and drilling efficiency to a point where PDC bits have taken over most applications once dominated by the venerable rolling cone bit, introduced by the Hughes Tool Co (HTC) in 1909. Over the years, the key bit company customers have insisted on pushing the technology and performance envelope, not allowing the PDC cutter to become a commodity item. As a result, PDC cutters, inserts, wear parts and bearings for oil and gas drilling products are, arguably, the largest segment of the super-abrasives industry. This technology is playing a significant role in changing how and where oil and gas wells are drilled

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