Tag Archives : Oil & Gas


Weight On Bit – WOB

What is Weight on Bit or WOB?

An essential part of the drilling process is adding force to the drill bit in order to successfully break the rock. Weight on the Bit, or WOB, is the amount of downward force exerted on the drill bit provided by thick-walled tubular pieces in the drilling assembly that are known as drill collars. The downward force of gravity on these steel tubes provide force for the drill bit in order to effectively break the rock. The weight of the drilling assembly is controlled and measured while the drill bit is just off the bottom of the wellbore. Then, the drill string is slowly and carefully lowered until it reaches the bottom. As the driller continues to lower the top of the drill string, more of the weight of the assembly is being applied to the bit and harmoniously less weight is hanging at the surface.

To put this into perspective, let us imagine a vertical drilling hole. If the surface measurement reads 1,000 kg less weight of the string while drilling than with the bit off the bottom, then there should be 1,000 kg of force transferred to the bit. This measurement is read using a hydraulic gauge at the surface that is directly connected to the hoisting equipment for maximum accuracy. This measured weight includes everything that exerts tension on the drill string. Weight transfer control can greatly decrease operating cost and time, and lead to a longer lasting drill bit.

Weight on bit is an essential part of drilling optimization to ensure that the well deepens as drilling moves forward. Finding the right amount of WOB per application is crucial to drilling operations. If the WOB is greater than the optimum value, the drill bit has a higher chance of wear or damage and there is even a chance for the drill string to buckle. On the contrary, if the WOB is less than optimal, the Rate of Penetration (ROP) slows down and drilling performance is subpar. The ROP is the speed at which a drill bit breaks the rock or sediment; ROP is typically measured either in feet or meters per hour. It is important to maximize the rate of penetration to reduce rig time and cost. In order to optimize penetration, drilling operators must pay close attention to Weight on bit and alter it as necessary. Finding the optimum WOB is determined by the design and parameters of the drill bit, as well as external factors such as mud weight, BHA, and the rock being drilled. There is no standard range of weight that should be applied to the bit. It can be anywhere between 1,000 lbs. to 100,000 lbs. depending on the size and type of bit, the rock being drilled, and the application. At Ulterra, recommended values for WOB to the customer are based purely on local knowledge and experience of the application.

Bit manufacturers specify the maximum WOB to avoid damage to the bit; each will have their own method that helps them determine this maximum weight. The stable zone for smooth drilling operations calls for moderate WOB and rotary speed. The recommended weight provided by bit manufacturers is determined by factors such as the structural integrity of the bit body and blades, cutter quantity and the cutter orientation, size, and shape. When we determine the maximum weight the design will take before failure, we then add in a 10-20% safety factor. This safety factor provides a guarantee that the bit will not break if the maximum specified Weight on bit is applied during drill operations.

WOB Measurement

Weight on bit is usually measured using a drillstring weight indicator located on the driller’s console and linked to the hoist equipment in the derrick. The more advanced and functional indicators have dual scales which consists of a primary scale indicating the suspended weight of the drilling assembly and the secondary scale for the drill bit weight. These weight indicators are hydraulic gauges that are attached to the dead line of the drilling line that take the actual force measurement. As the tension in the line increases, hydraulic fluid is forced through the instrument which turns the hands of the indicator, providing the operator with the weight suspended off the hoist. Before the driller measures the weight on the bit, they must make a zero offset adjustment to account for any weight other than the drillstring. Therefore, the measurement inclusively measures the weight of the drill string, which includes the drill pipe and bottomhole assembly. Other than these indicators on the surface, Measurement While Drilling (MWD) tools that are located down hole provide more accurate weight on bit measurements that are sent to the surface on a readout interface. Sensors inside the MWD tool measure the strain on the body of the tool, from which they can calculate the applied weight that is actually getting to the bit since the MWD tool typically sits very close in the drilling assembly.

 

Finding Optimum WOB & Rotary Speed

It is important to select the best bit weight and rotary speed to optimize the drilling operation, minimize cost, and increase bit life. The drilling environment, such as the lithology of the rock and drilling dysfunction, impacts the drilling conditions and can have a negative effect on drilling efficiency. Rotary speed and weight on bit can control vibration and ROP. It is important to be in control of drilling vibration in order to keep the bit in smooth contact with the rock, prevent damage and maximize efficiency by reducing wasted energy. A minimum WOB must be achieved in order to get the drilling started, which is considered the threshold weight. There are average values that have been determined for drilling weights, but proper weight can be determined for each application by increasing the bit weight in steps of 1,000-2,000 lbs., with an optimized rotary speed. Optimum weight has been reached when additional weight is not providing further penetration and the bit starts to founder.

Rotary speed and weight on bit cannot be continuously increased without causing extreme stress on the drill string and bit. If excessive force and weight are being applied to the drill string it can cause the drill pipe to buckle. Buckling at a minimum leads to decreased performance and increased stress on components, but it can even result in parting the string and losing your BHA, which means losing expensive high-tech logging equipment and directional drilling tools down the hole.

After a certain bit weight value is reached, it is normally observed that rate of penetration starts to reduce. The poor response of penetration is usually attributed to inefficient bottom hole cleaning and wear on the drill bit, but it is often actually the case that drilling dysfunction starts to kick in. At very high WOB the sheer amount of torque being produced by the bit starts to overload the drilling system leading to vibration and inefficiency. Likewise, after a certain value of rotary speed has been met, ROP decelerates as the bit starts skating on top of the rock rather than getting good penetration of the cutting structure, the speed is too high to get a good bite into the rock. This poor response of decreased penetration is likely due to loss of stability of the drilling assembly in the wellbore.

To test bit performance, the driller can increase WOB by x amount and the drill rate will increase by y amount of ft/hr. If this bit is efficiently shearing the rock, the next x amount of weight on the bit should yield another y amount of ft/hr. If the drill rate does not increase by the same amount, the response is disproportionate. That increased weight could be damaging to the bit or the BHA. These tests of efficiency will help determine how proportionate the response is between WOB and ROP (ft/hr).

Rotary speed and weight are just two parameters that must be monitored and adjusted to improve drilling efficiency. Other drilling parameters such as torque, flow rate, bottom-hole temperature, and bottom-hole pressure can also be converted into ROP at the bit.

 

Lower WOB, Higher ROP

Ulterra assembled a team of material specialists, design engineers, and performance optimization experts to create a PDC bit platform that was superior to both traditional matrix and steel PDC bodies and that would allow the cutters to get deep into the formation to increase ROP. This team of experts ended up creating the FastBack™ series of bits, which are designed to drill faster with lower WOB. FastBack is designed to get the bit body out of the way so that the drilling is focused on the sharp, diamond edge of the PDC cutter. The energy provided by the PDC cutting structure in these designs requires less WOB while still providing a greater ROP than traditional bits.

Ulterra also offers CounterForce® technology which is focused on the cutter orientation to maximize rock failure and drilling efficiency. CounterForce cutters work synergistically to engage the formation and optimize crack propagation by re-directing resultant drilling forces back into the rock. The angles of the cutters are designed to shear rock more efficiently while keeping the cuttings moving away from the crucial sharp edge of the cutter. This helps reduce reactive torque and improves bit stability for better control and wellbore quality.

With both of these advanced technologies from Ulterra, less weight on bit is required to drill because the bits are more efficient at translating the energy from WOB into cutting action. This translates into a wider envelope of useable drilling parameters, less possibility for drilling dysfunction and overall reduced rates of damage to the bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ulterra Featured at Fort Worth Mayor’s International Luncheon

Ulterra Drilling Technologies is based in the heart of downtown Fort Worth which is considered one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Fort Worth has continued to grow within the last two years making it 7th in U.S. population growth leaving tons of room for economic development. There are many big name companies that call Fort Worth home like Ulterra. With Fort Worth being centrally located between DFW Airport and Alliance Airport, it makes international business on logistics for local businesses a lot easier. There are currently 56 international flights out of DFW every day making it convenient for business leaders to have better access to international markets. Alliance airport is the only international commercial airport in the area which opens the door for quicker import and export practices.

It’s predicted by the next census date that Fort Worth will become the 12th largest city in the United States. As Fort Worth’s population grows it’s vital that business in domestic and international markets continue to rise and create job opportunities to support the increase in population. A luncheon was organized by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce to discuss how companies in the Fort Worth area are contributing to the success of international business and making Fort Worth an international business hub. The Mayor of Fort Worth, Betsy Price looked to Ulterra to sit among other key players in select industries to discuss the potential for Fort Worth to become an international hub of innovation. Mayor Betsy Price remarked “Ulterra represents both Fort Worth’s history in energy and our future in technology.”

Ulterra was called on by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce to discuss their experience in doing business not only on a domestic level but also in international markets. The Chambers main business function is to recruit and retain business, provide a skilled and educated workforce and provide resources for business owners and employees. Mayor Betsy Price talked about the importance of making Fort Worth a destination for global business development, attraction and retention. Fort Worth has a very diverse workforce and many have chosen to operate their corporate headquarters in the heart of it, such as BNSF Railways, Pier1imports, American Airlines and Ulterra Drilling Technologies. “We are much more than just the aviation, defense and energy industry. We are a very multicultural and multinational city with major corporations with huge international presences,” said Mayor Betsy Price.

Ulterra’s CFO Maria Mejia was among a few selected to join Mayor Betsy Price along with Raanan Horowitz, President and CEO of Elbit Systems of America and Phil White, Co-Founder of Cervelo Cycles for the annual international luncheon. Maria sat on a panel in front of 250 plus attendees and took a deeper dive into the success stories of companies with an international presence that are local to Fort Worth. The Chamber looked to Ulterra to gain insight on how to successfully attract international business and retain healthy business relationships in international markets. Ulterra is currently the leading PDC Bit Company in the United States having the most market share driven from innovation, solid work ethic and the resilience to win.

Many of the attendees at the luncheon were top players in their industries looking to gain insight on how to drive their business’s into international markets. The goal is to make Fort Worth a more attractive place to do business on an international level. Fort Worth has a cross-industry workforce and is full diverse cultures, businesses, and lifestyles making it an attractive place to not only live but also to do business in. “International employees, partners and customers appreciate visiting our facilities in Fort Worth. Hosting international oil and gas conferences such as the SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) and the IADC (International Association of Drilling Contractors) allows us to showcase our home turf to the entire industry,” Said Maria Mejia, Senior Vice President and CFO of Ulterra Drilling Technologies.

Maria continued talking about some of the obstacles as well as the triumphs Ulterra has faced going into new markets beyond the United States. “When expanding globally it can be hard to replicate Ulterra’s culture. Our business model requires a deep understanding of the customer, their needs and the culture in which they operate. We have to prove that we are able to deliver value internationally just as much as we can deliver locally,” says Mejia. Understanding international markets and how they differ is a key to gaining market share internationally. There are times when consumer education has to be put into play just to market your products in other countries, it’s all about the hierarchy of effects when it comes to selling in international markets.

The Mayor touched on key initiatives that have the potential to make Fort Worth stand out in DFW as its own entity. Idealistically the larger business community could come together to better define Fort Worth’s commercial brand both to attract like-minded businesses and startups and to help them market themselves by association. Having stronger business relationships within the Fort Worth area could make international business ventures more collaborative and less daunting. The Chamber strives to develop country targets for new businesses based on current industry clusters, skill set and local relationships. “I was very intrigued by the Mayor’s determination to bring more international business ventures to the Fort Worth area. As Fort Worth gains more recognition good things will happen for the people and businesses in our area,” Says Angela Schlemmer, Vice President of Tax and Treasury of Ulterra Drilling Technologies.

Ulterra is recognized for its unique culture, which consists of doing things better and faster. International success depends on the ability of a company to meet the demands of the customer and being able to efficiently adapt to the changing needs of customers across borders. The future of international business depends on being competitive on a global scale, this means Ulterra would have to continue dominating in the U.S. and continue gaining new market share through technological advancements and innovation in the oil and gas industry as a whole. For customers to adopt new companies and products in international markets you have to adapt to the culture of purchasing in those areas. “It’s a combination of relationship selling, technical ability, know-how, backup, and support function. It’s normally something cool and established that people can latch onto like our CounterForce® technology,” Says Chris Gooch, Application Engineering Manager of Ulterra Drilling Technologies

In the oil and gas industry, Ulterra is known for its speed, quality, technology, and trustworthy business acumen. This has led to Ulterra achieving better business relationships internationally as well as in the U.S. Being a successful entity in international marketplaces is not an overnight process. Ulterra takes the time to assess cultural differences and align them through technology and innovation all while delivering what the customer needs and keeping Ulterra’s competitive advantage, which begins with their speed of delivery. Ulterra started in the U.S. with the belief of becoming viable and is now thriving in the most competitive market on the planet making them the fastest growing drill bit company in the world.


Leading oilfield PDC bit company partners with Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation

There are currently more than 10,000 children battling cancer in Canada right now. The Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation is dedicated to creating victories for Canadian children with cancer. On average, only 5% of cancer research funding worldwide is put toward childhood cancer. The Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation has helped raise awareness and generate donations to be put towards childhood cancer research becoming the leading foundation funding national research on pediatric cancer.

Ulterra, LP is a PDC bit company that is partnering with the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation to help raise awareness for those battling with the diagnosis of childhood cancer and to further research efforts. “At Ulterra we create long lasting relationships with our customers that extend well beyond the works of the field or office. Once it was brought to my attention that one of our customers was dealing with the effects of this awful disease I knew it was our job to help in any way we could. We decided to partner with the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation to help raise awareness and show our support in funding research for childhood cancer,” said Jason Cunningham, Ulterra Vice President of Canada Operations.

 

With September being National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Ulterra will be painting all of their iconic teal bits coming out of Canada’s manufacturing facility purple to further help their efforts in raising awareness. “Most people don’t even know that childhood cancer exists and when they hear about it they are very surprised. Childhood cancer is really underfunded so awareness to get the word out becomes very important,” Says Lorena Muñoz, Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation Senior Manager.

In addition to raising awareness, Ulterra will also be donating $25,000 to the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation on August 25, 2017, in Leduc, Canada to help fund childhood cancer research as well as contribute to the amazing programs they have. Ulterra will extend their efforts into the field by handing out purple t-shirts, as well as educational pamphlets in support of childhood cancer awareness throughout Canada.

Ulterra chose to partner with the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation due to its commitment and experience when it comes to helping those who have benefited from childhood cancer research and their many other programs. “Our ultimate goal here is not only to raise awareness and funds but to get rid of childhood cancer all together. When we no longer need to be here, that’s when our job is done,” states Muñoz.

In the last 10 years alone the childhood cancer research community has decreased the mortality rate by 25% in children battling cancer. Through various programs, the Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation is able to help many of those who have had to deal with the effects of childhood cancer.

Jason Cunningham states, “This is the reason why organizations like The Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation are so important. So many kids are being affected by this awful disease, it’s not only our duty but an honor to help these families fight the good fight.”

To learn how you can help visit http://www.childhoodcancer.ca/


Hart’s E&P June 2017

Featured in the June issue of Hart’s E&P, Ulterra discusses how new bit designs are pushing drilling boundaries. Over the past year, Ulterra has looked critically at bit design, blade geometry, cutter reinforcement and hydraulics and has been testing new materials, which has resulted in its XP™ line of polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits. With the increased energy going through the bit, it is Ulterra’s goal to make sure the bits do not become the limiting factor in performance.

Hart’s E&P June 2017

Read the full article from Hart’s E&P here.


Ulterra’s Leduc Manufacturing Facility Achieved 2 Years with No Recordables

Ulterra continues to set new standards in all areas of operations with safety being no exception. On April 21, 2017, Ulterra surpassed another safety milestone with the Leduc Manufacturing Facility achieving 2 years with no recordable injuries. “Safety performance like this is important in keeping a competitive edge in an ultra-competitive market. More importantly, the effort and dedication of our employees toward health and safety are critical in going home the same way they arrived at work, injury free” states Bryce Cook, HSSE Manager.

We would like to extend a very special thank you to all of the Leduc employees who continue to make safety a priority every day. While the team acknowledges that this is a great accomplishment to take pride in, they are not ready to stop here.