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Drill Bit Innovations: Ulterra Featured in Drilling Contractor

Ulterra is pleased to have been featured in a recent Drilling Contractor article regarding emerging technologies and innovations in drill bits. 

 

drill bit technology

 

Manufacturers are developing new bits that address cuttings evacuation, vibration and thermal degradation while rearranging cutter layouts and seeking better understanding of failure mechanisms. 

Because of the significant role that bits play in drilling performance, operators are constantly on the hunt for new bits that can drill longer and further and provide a higher rate of penetration (ROP). They’re also looking for bits that provide better toolface control, which minimizes the readjustments that directional drillers have to make to the bit orientation so they can simply drill ahead.

The faster a bit drills, the more cuttings it produces in a given period of time. If those cuttings build up, it can reduce ROP and sap drilling energy. Additionally, cuttings buildup can insulate and create friction at the bit, resulting in higher temperatures around the bits and cutters. It’s not uncommon for stagnant cuttings to cause a rise in temperatures at the bit, which can cause degradation of the diamond and damage the cutter, said Chris Casad, Innovation Project Manager for Ulterra. “Having lower temperatures reduces damage, which means you have sharper cutters for longer, and that keeps you drilling at a high level for the entire duration of your well.”

After multiple years of development and testing, Ulterra will release SplitBlade, a PDC bit with optimized nozzle placement and fluid channeling, in late March. The placement of the nozzles and channels, which was determined through the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), improves the evacuation of the cuttings.

Additionally, the cutters on the bit’s inner blades are advanced forward, engaging the formation earlier and enabling better toolface control, Mr Casad said. This improves the blades’ grip on the formation, enabling better directional control.

Bits designed with SplitBlade technology have two dedicated channels of evacuation for each primary blade, as well as nozzles at the cone and shoulder of the bit. This allows SplitBlade to “separate the cutting evacuation from the cone of the bit and from the shoulder of the bit,” which are the two areas most prone to cuttings accumulation, Mr. Casad said. Keeping the cone clean enables better directional control and steering, and keeping the shoulder clean allows the bit to drill faster.

Read the complete Article at http://www.drillingcontractor.org/drill-bit-innovations-target-major-barriers-to-rop-durability-45969


Launching SplitBlade for Improved ROP Through Cuttings Evacuation

Ulterra Drilling Technologies has proudly launched SplitBlade™ as the new SPL product line. Ulterra’s objective is to bring attention and focus to all of their differentiating technologies and the value they create to customers. This nomenclature will help further cement Ulterra’s reputation as an industry leader in innovation, new technology, and performance in the field. Also, the nomenclature will help with the easy identification of advanced pdc bit technology. SplitBlade now joins CounterForce® as named Utechnology product lines, and choosing SPL as the designation for instances where these products are combined for maximum performance. Now, these advanced technology products can be simply identified by technology, blade count, and cutter size (mm).

cutting evacuations SplitBlade by UlterraIn preparation for this launch, Ulterra has successfully made use of dedicated SplitBlade focused product designers to help manage this growth with integrity. This approach of using a dedicated resource is to ensure high initial quality and future consistency of the product as it grows to meet customer demand.  Additionally, the dedicated designer was tasked with understanding and exploring the limits and capabilities of the SplitBlade technology.

SplitBlade looks different because it is different. The Utechnology uses a unique physical disruption of the typically straight blades to unleash maximum drilling performance with improved hydraulic efficiency. The aesthetics of SplitBlade keeps cuttings separated and provides an exceptional cleaning for the cutting structure. Using CFD, the engineering team decided that splitting the shape of the primary blades with an angular offset would provide designated flow to channels for the fluid and cuttings. This cutting structure allows for cuttings to be evacuated up to seven times faster, compared to conventional designs. The physical separation of the inner and outer cutting structure provides steadfast flow to difficult areas while reducing the risk of balling up the bit.

Ulterra SplitBlade nomenclature stands for quality, credibility, and consistency to improve awareness of the technology, and to improve performance to our valued customers. Ulterra’s team is always striving to create and deliver new innovative technologies that lead to actual improvements. Launching SPL is the next step as Ulterra continues to deliver value leading oil field technologies.

 


New Drilling Bit Design from Ulterra featured in World Oil Article

The following extract on drilling bit design is from World Oil October 2017 and is used by permission.

Uptick in Activity Spurs Development of New Bit Technologies

 

DRILLING BIT DESIGN

Increased drilling activity associated with improving commodity prices is driving drill bit manufacturers to develop more efficient hydraulics for cuttings evacuation in softer formations, in addition to technologies designed to improve one-run success rates in challenging directional applications, and in hard/abrasive formations.

By CRAIG FLEMING, Technical Editor

With continuing advances in PCD cutter technology and improved bit body stability, PDC bits have become the dominant force in the worldwide drilling theater, practically replacing the venerable roller cone product. Their high ROP potential and unparalleled durability make PDC bits the tool of choice in both high- and low-cost environments. Even in the toughest applications traditionally reserved for roller cones, PDCs have virtually eliminated the situations where operators are forced to fall back on these types of bits. Today’s PDC bit technologies will positively impact performance and drive down the real cost/ft.

IMPROVED CUTTINGS EVACUATION

drilling bit designUlterra Drilling Technologies’ latest innovation is the patent-pending SplitBlade PDC bit (Fig. 4) that is increasing ROP and reducing drilling time with reconfigured cuttings evacuation, cutter cleaning, and bit cooling.

Typically, with most PDC technology, recirculated rock cuttings become trapped at the toolface, and the build-up clogs the junk slots. Trying to recut old cuttings that should have been evacuated quickly wastes energy, in addition to degrading the bit.

The company’s research team examined the physical restraints of a basic PDC drill bit. The engineers proposed a new pattern that would maintain the cutters in a cleaner, cooler state. The improved thermal management of the bit face would support the goal of extending bit durability and lead to higher performance.

Using CFD, the team created a distinctive bit body, with new blade geometry, nozzle placement, and cutter layout. By splitting the shape of the primary blades with an angular offset, designers created designated flow channels for the fluid and cuttings. Two nozzles are positioned to support the cutters in the critical area to capitalize on this advancement in bit body construction and hydraulic control. While drilling, cuttings from SplitBlade technology can be evacuated up to seven times faster, compared with conventional designs.

CASE STUDIES

In the LaSalle County portion of the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas, an operator was experiencing poor cuttings removal and plugged nozzles. To solve the issues, an 8½-in. SplitBlade PDC was run, and it drilled the curve 27% faster than offsets. This run set a company formation footage record of nearly 14,000 ft, MD, for the curve and lateral. The ROP of more than 150 ft/hr was 8% faster than the offset average in wells over 10,000 ft. In the eastern Eagle Ford, another operator wanted to reduce the instances of nozzle plugging to improve ROP, and selected an 8½-in. SplitBlade bit. The plan was to improve lateral and overall ROP with better directional control and cuttings removal. The bit was run, and it set a rig footage and ROP record, drilling the lateral at 400 ft/hr instantaneously and, overall, just less than 12,000 ft in under 68 hr. The average ROP of 172 ft/hr was 56% faster than the average run on this rig.

View the original Article here:
Original World Oil Oct 2017 Article PDF