As seen in the American Oil & Gas Reporter in the April 2016 issue, Ulterra discusses recent success when partnering with rotary steerable companies to match our bits to their tools. Adding CounterForce® to customized bit designs reduced drilling vibrations and increased ROP on both PowerDrive and AutoTrak™ systems.
By: Josh Criswell, West Texas Sales Engineer
In the past six months, operators drilling in the Wolfbone area of the Delaware Basin have been looking more to rotary steerable systems (RSS) to reduce the time spent drilling lateral wells. RSS have become a more affordable option due to their reduced cost in the down market.
Ulterra was challenged to create a bit design that was capable of finishing extended laterals in one run while encountering shales with varying carbonate content. This new design must rotate exceptionally well, be able to produce accurate corrections on a motorized push-the-bit system, and withstand the higher RPM capabilities of new rotary steerable systems.
This resulted in Ulterra’s 8.5” U616S built to dominate these intervals. The U616S features Ulterra’s CounterForce® technology which provides smooth torque responses providing longer life for expensive rotary steerable components. CounterForce also redirects vibrations back into the formation, creating a much more efficient cutting structure that produces higher ROP. The U616S also features an extended gauge pad to help the bit track in long laterals and reduce corrective actions. This new CounterForce design features a steel construction that increases the junk slot area by nearly 12% from its matrix counterpart and allows lower cuttings evacuation times producing higher ROP.
After its first two runs, Ulterra’s 8.5” U616S CounterForce completed both intervals successfully in one run producing an average ROP 15% higher than competitor designs. The ability to complete the interval in one run while producing higher ROP allowed Ulterra to save the operator an average of $7.24/ft for a total of $67,049 in a lateral well.
The API 7-1 Monogram is somewhat standard among major players in the industry, but Ulterra is very unique in that we include service (repair) in our API Q1 and ISO 9001 scope of registration, hence the reason you will now be seeing a “Certified Repair” sticker on the bit cans. The goal of these stickers is to highlight Ulterra’s commitment to having the highest quality PDC bits in the world.
By: Tyler Browder, National Account Representative
In previous months, the typical wellbore design for a major operator in the Delaware Basin had been a 3 string well utilizing a 13 ½” surface hole, 9 ⅞” intermediate, and 6 ¾” production. With the current down market, the operator like every other operator has been looking for other ways to bring down cost and have better efficiency. One way they sought partially increased performance was by bumping up to a bigger casing profile, yet still utilizing a 3 string well design by drilling a 16” surface, 12 ¼” intermediate, and 8 ½” production hole. They saw a large step change in performance in the 8 ½” production hole, but saw a substantial decrease in efficiency in the now 12 ¼” intermediate section. The performance change was great enough in the production hole to make the operator explore ways to optimize performance in the intermediate to make it more economical.
This new 12 ¼” deep intermediate was taking an average of 5 BHA’s to reach section Total Depth (TD), running almost every bit company possible and not seeing any positive results. After a hand full of wells, the operator dedicated the top part of the section to a competitor and the bottom hole (the demanding interval) to Ulterra’s U616M. The U616M had the fastest average ROP in the top section of the interval as well, but they saw faster instantaneous ROP with the competitor bit and thought they could improve and achieve a higher average…. that didn’t happen. Ulterra started looking into Rock Strength Analysis (RSA) and Electronic Drilling Recording (EDR) data to come up with an overall game plan of how to attack this interval. There were several meetings with the engineering team over this project which combined our bit knowledge with their overall knowledge of the application. Ulterra chose a bit and recommended parameters to try and achieve a more PDC friendly environment within this interbedded formation, reaching almost 30,000 KSI in some parts. Ulterra proved that the U616M was the fastest bit on the 1 trial run the operator had at the beginning of the program. We recognized that we could get much deeper with the U616M in the drill out BHA with optimized drilling parameters, coupled with the right bit design and cutter technology for the interval. Ulterra showed that if the operator can get deeper on BHA #1 the chances of achieving a 2-3 bit interval would be greatly increased due to the outstanding performance we were already seeing in the bottom section of the interval, and with the U616M dull conditions when pulled at section TD.
Ulterra did just that.
In the drill out, the U616M made it from 2,073 ft to 8,469 ft in one run at 113.2 ft/hr. In the previous offset well, the first competitor bit made it to 7,000 ft at 98 ft/hr, while the second tripped at 8,000 ft averaging 48 ft/hr. So with one bit Ulterra drilled 469 ft further and at a much faster pace than 2 competitor bits. Ulterra then went in for the second BHA in this interval and made it all the way to section TD at 10,193 ft at 111.2 ft/hr. With this well using 100% Ulterra it drilled 4.6 days faster than the average well of this design, and 2.27 days faster than the Best Demonstrated Performance (BDP) well. This was all achieved from a great transparent working relationship between the operator, the service company, as well as great bit designs from the men behind the scenes.
On January 15, 2016, Ulterra successfully completed the annual surveillance audit for maintaining the API Spec Q1 registration, ISO 9001, and API 7-1 Monogram license. The audit was a success and resulted in Ulterra being able to retain existing quality certifications. The API Spec Q1 and ISO 9001 registrations apply to the design, manufacture, and servicing of PDC matrix and steel body drill bits. Ulterra maintains these certifications to let our customers know that we are serious about the quality of our design, manufacture, and repair process of PDC drill bits.
- The API Spec Q1 9th Edition registration means that Ulterra’s facilities conform to the quality system requirements of API Spec Q1, as confirmed by API.
- The ISO 9001:2008 registration means that Ulterra’s facilities conform to the quality system requirements of ISO 9001, as confirmed by the APIQR (American Petroleum Institute Quality Registrar).
- The API Spec 7-1 Monogram License means that Ulterra’s quality management system (QMS) is in compliance with API Spec Q1 and that Ulterra meets the technical product requirements of API Spec 7-1. The API 7-1 Monogram mark on products is a warranty by Ulterra to API and its purchasers that the marked products comply in every aspect with API 7-1 at the time of manufacture.
The API 7-1 Monogram is somewhat standard among major players in the industry, but Ulterra is very unique in that we include service (repair) in our API Q1 and ISO 9001 scope of registration. That means that we are the only major bit company to hold our repaired bits to the same high standards of new bits.
Safety has always been an integral part of Ulterra’s mission since its inception. Over the past couple of years, Ulterra has implemented new initiatives and has placed increased emphasis on every aspect of its safety performance. The result of this emphasis had Ulterra announcing in the summer of 2015 that it had a full year of zero recordable incidents in its Fort Worth Repair & Steel Facilities.
The continued initiatives have resulted in a new and incredible safety milestone within Ulterra’s Fort Worth Manufacturing Facility by achieving 365 days with no recordable incidents as of October 30th, 2015. This was the first time Ulterra’s Fort Worth Manufacturing Plant has achieved this goal.
Ulterra would like to thank all of its plant employees for making safety a priority in their daily routine as this is just another stepping stone for Ulterra. This achievement was made possible by total commitment from not only the floor workers and machinists, but also the plant management and office personnel. The safety work performance of all of Ulterra shops is a continuous, combined effort from shop crews and management. Daily safety meetings are essential to ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of the potential hazards that accompany their jobs and how to resolve such hazards. With this dedication to a safety program, Ulterra looks forward to setting future safety goals.
Not only is safety improvement critical to the health and wellbeing of Ulterra’s employees, it shows to the industry that Ulterra takes pride in every detail of its company. While this is a great accomplishment to take pride in, Ulterra is already working towards year two with no recordables.
Ulterra’s North Dakota team proudly achieved record revenue/rig for the month of December. This success was attributed to the entire team putting in the extra effort to get every sale. Tyler Becker, North Dakota Operations Manager, provided outstanding leadership and mentoring skills as he built a solid foundation with his team. With his guidance, the North Dakota field sales force became more competent with the Bakken/Three Forks applications, significantly grew BRR%, built solid relationships with company men and directional personnel, and were resilient about overcoming objections. The Denver Sales Team and each of the National Account Hubs were in daily communication with the team in North Dakota. The group worked well together to make sales and increase market share as they penetrated a large percentage of the Basin. Casey Dalla Betta, Lead Engineer for Western U.S., also continually contributed outstanding work for the sales team to bring to the customers. “I’m extremely proud of what North Dakota has become, and look forward to seeing what they can accomplish in 2016” said Chris Bourdeon, Rockies/North Dakota Area Manager.
Ulterra’s Latin America team has made huge strides over the past few years in attracting new customers and gaining market share. Last year, Ecopetrol in Colombia awarded Ulterra with its 2nd highest contract with 25% of their bit runs. Every quarter, Ecopetrol re-evaluates the service companies based on Key Performance Indicators (KPI) including quality of service, performance of existing bits, and introduction of new designs. Within just 1 year and 4 positive KPI evaluations, Ulterra is now the top drill bit provider with Ecopetrol with 63% of their drill bit runs. This is due to consistently impressing the rigs and offices with our customer service and continuously selecting the right bit for the operator’s needs. A huge part of this success is attributed to the excellent work coming out of Ulterra’s UGS facility. Ecopetrol has very strict repair criteria for running used bits and Ulterra is the only Ecopetrol bit provider allowed to get 6 runs on a serial number.
This growth with Ecopetrol in Colombia is gaining speed across the rest of Latin America as operators in Mexico and Argentina are catching wind of this success.
A major operator in central Australia recently achieved significant time and cost savings thanks to the combination of the Ulterra TorkBuster matched with the U513M CounterForce drill bit. The combination of TorkBuster and CounterForce proved to be a rock destruction solution within the challenging Permian, with the operator increasing ROP by 52% and achieving total savings of $150,000.
Ulterra’s Fort Worth Repair Facility recently achieved 365 days with no recordable incidents. This type of performance represents a tremendous improvement from the previous year and was made possible by total commitment from everyone in the facility.