Smith Bits, a subsidiary of Schlumberger, released its next generation spear polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bit optimized for shale plays. Spear PDC bits have provided for more effective and quicker drilling in the lateral portions of horizontal wells. In the Eagle Ford, the first generation steel bodied PDC bit allowed operators to drill laterals in one pipe run. In the same application, the second generation bit set a new record for speed. The bit was able to drill a lateral run at a rate of 79 feet per hour compared to median performance of 65 feet per hour with the first generation bit.
The test was done in South Texas, but the bit will be used in other shale plays as well. At the rate of penetration achieved in the test well, a 6,000 ft lateral can be drilled in just over three days.
“With experience of more than 6,000 Spear bit runs to date, we incorporated specific design elements into the next-generation bit to deliver even more rate of penetration (ROP), further lowering drilling costs in unconventional wells.” [Read more…]