Recently, an operator targeting the Montney formation in Canada, an extensive resource play that reaches across northwest Alberta and into northeast British Columbia, was challenged with a particular pad in the Briar Ridge field. Specifically, this operator experienced several instances of bit balling while drilling the upper formations with 6-bladed bit designs. This resulted in a significant loss in ROP and instances where a trip was required as the bit was unable to be fully cleaned to the point where drilling could not continue.
Prior to engaging with Ulterra, this operator experienced a higher than normal damaged beyond repair (DBR) run history in the Briar Ridge Field. On average, 33% of drillout runs were DBR’d and 66% of the runs did not make the entire interval to the intended kick off point (KOP). The first two runs with a competitor bit only reached ~1,600 m before being pulled in the Nikanassin.
The Goal & Challenge
The goal was to drill to KOP in the Charlie Lake in one run. However, due to the prior instances of bit balling, a 5-bladed design with more junk slot area was selected for the interval.
The challenge was drilling in the Briar Ridge field, specifically through the infamous Nikanassin, and the many formations below it to the underlying Charlie Lake. This formation consists of course-grained silica cemented sandstone, interbedded with multiple layers of conglomerate containing chert and quartzite nodules, and then transitions into finer-grained hard quartzose sandstone-siltstone layers.
On the third run, this operator teamed up with Ulterra to complete the interval. Ulterra’s team suggested a combination of Omega™ Reaper and Ninja Cutters paired with our CounterForce™ technology to capitalize top hole ROP, complete the high inclination tangent, and challenging directional well profile while providing the durability required to drill through the Cadomin and Nikanassin formations.
Utilizing Ulterra’s CF513 equipped with the latest generation of premium deep leached cutters, this operator drilled to the intended KOP through the Nikanassin to Charlie Lake, while holding a 20°tangent. This operator completed their goal, reaching the intended 1,583 m. at a depth in of 462 m. and a depth out at 2,045 m. Drilling passed the Nikanassin to Charlie Lake was a huge accomplishment for this operator, making it the first bit to drill to intended KOP in Charlie Lake on this pad.
Additional Success with Ulterra
On the next run, Ulterra and this operator sought to complete the drillout and build in one run – a feat that has never been successfully accomplished in the Briar Ridge Field. Again, utilizing a CF513 equipped with Ulterra’s Reaper and Ninja Cutters, this operator drilled out with a 2.12 motor bend setting and drilled 1,798 m with an average ROP of 37 m/hr, drilling to Montney B1, making it the first bit to complete the vertical and build in the Briar Ridge field in one run! This operator saved ~25.5 hours in comparison to the next fastest well on the pad. Not only did this operator set a new pacesetter interval, but also set a pacesetter well for the area while overcoming the toughest drilling challenges faced in the Briar Ridge Field. Overall, this operator saved over 2.2 days on this well, in addition to saving cost on additional downhole tools, bits, and trip expenses.
Even Tougher Drilling with Ulterra
Utilizing Ulterra’s CF513 on the sixth run, this operator drilled to the intended KOP, held a 30°tangent and drilled through even tougher formations in the Nikanassin, Fernie, Nordegg, Baldonnel, Charlie Lake, Halfway, and to the Doig. This specific run drilled further than any other bit holding a 30° tangent in the area.
Based on historic performance in Canada’s Briar Ridge field, this operator was determined to make the intended intervals and Ulterra was steadfast to provide a solution.