Status of Polycrystalline-Diamond-Compact Bits: Part 2-Applications
- R. Feenstra (Koninklijke/Shell E and P Laboratorium)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 1988
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 817 - 821
- 1988. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.12.1 Measurement While Drilling, 4.1.6 Compressors, Engines and Turbines, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation, 1.5 Drill Bits, 1.5.1 Bit Design, 1.1.6 Hole Openers & Under-reamers, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 5.3.4 Integration of geomechanics in models, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 1.12.3 Mud logging / Surface Measurements, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 1.8 Formation Damage, 1.6.1 Drilling Operation Management, 1.6.3 Drilling Optimisation, 1.6.6 Directional Drilling, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 1.5.4 Bit hydraulics, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.6.1 Open hole/cased hole log analysis
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Distinguished Author Series articles are general, descriptiverepresentations that summarize the state of the art in an area of technology bydescribing recent developments for readers who are not specialists in thetopics discussed. Written by individuals recognized as experts in the area,these articles provide key references to more definitive work and presentspecific details only to illustrate the technology. Purpose: to informthe general readership of recent advances in various areas of petroleumengineering.
Summary. Part 1 (June JPT, Pages 675-84) discussed the characteristics,development, and outlook for polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits. Thissecond part treats applications of PDC bits, including suitable locations,types of hole, and uses.
This paper is intended as a quick reference for operational staff who may beconsidering the application of PDC bits. Unfortunately, these bits cannot yetcope with all formations. Consequently, bit selection is of paramountimportance to avoid misruns, as will be indicated.
PDC bits usually can be used with success only in soft, soft to PDC bitsusually can be used with success only in soft, soft to medium-hard, andmedium-hard, non-abrasive formations. Success, however, is fully dependent on agood match between the bit, the formation to be drilled, and the operatingconditions. (See PDC-Bit Development in Part 1, where performance of thecorrect PDC bits with both oil- and performance of the correct PDC bits withboth oil- and water-based muds is explained.) Experience has shown that, forPDC bits, the type of mud, the bit hydraulics, and bit design PDC bits, thetype of mud, the bit hydraulics, and bit design affect bit performance muchmore than variations in mud properties. Over and over again, it has been foundthat it properties. Over and over again, it has been found that it pays todevelop the best bit design for a particular field rather pays to develop thebest bit design for a particular field rather than to select one from a range.PDC bits can be tailored to the job to provide surprisingly goodperformance.
Hard and/or abrasive formations are taboo for PDC bits in that they causeexcessive wear. Streaks of limited extent, lenses, or thin sections of suchrocks within thick sections of a suitable formation can be drilled. It isimperative to consult wireline logs, mud logs, and bit records of neighboringwells. With local expertise at hand, available from bit suppliers and withinthe oil company, it is then decided where to spot the bits, if at all. Refs. 1through 3 and 5 through 15 provide detailed examples of recent case histories.Mudstone and siltstone have been drilled well; sandstones, particularly ifcoarse-grained and cemented, are virtually impossible to drill economically andare highly destructive to the bit. Hard limestone, dolomite, etc., can be cutwith great difficulty. Consult PDC Cutters in Part 1 for an understanding,Sections on TSP Diamond Bits and Hybrid Bits, also in Part 1, provideassistance in seeking alternative bits.
PDC bits may play a significant role in a number of drilling PDC bits mayplay a significant role in a number of drilling related applications ashighlighted here. A wealth of referenced literature is available to elaborateon the various aspects.
Depleted Reservoirs. Because such reservoirs usually cannot be drilled at areasonable overbalance, the drilling may become extremely slow and costly. Inthe case of roller-cone bits, the common excessive overbalance causes them tocrush the rock to a very thick, dense layer that is hardly removed at all.Diamond bits can often do better because of their plowing action. PDC bitsshave the rock and expose the permeable rock to mud filtration, which can bepromoted by hydraulics to lessen the effective overbalance. Koskie and Appenreport a side benefit of "fishtail" PDC bits in Colombia: their ability todrill depleted sands rapidly at an overbalance of as much as 10 Ibm/gal [1198kg/m3]! Apparently, the sand was not really abrasive and the bit and the mudwere well selected. Others report economically successful runs of TSP diamondbits in depleted sands in south Louisiana. The TSP diamond bit is of limitedversatility; if much shale is encountered, the bit may slow down too much.
Deviation Control. PDC bits require only light weight on bit (WOB) to drillrapidly. Because of this feature, the bits have become popular where deviationcontrol is needed, particularly for use in a crooked-hole area. If theformations are suitable for PDC bits, impressive savings can be achieved inthis application. Even less suitable formations, causing accelerated bit wear,can be tolerated to benefit from the PDC bit's favorable characteristic, if thealternative bits performed very poorly. The bit's profile can affect thebuilding or drop of poorly. The bit's profile can affect the building or dropof bottomhole assemblies (BHA,s). Refs. 5 and 17 report local experience.
Directional Control. The directional characteristics of PDC bits differpronouncedly, but not unfavorably, from those of roller cone bits. PDC bits,particularly matrix-body bits, have been used to arrest the right-walktendencies experienced with roller-cone bits.
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