skip navigation

Operator Beats Roller Cone ROP in Air Drilling Application with PDC Bit

An operator optimizes the 8.75” Air drilling performance in a Marcellus vertical section with Ulterra’s 8.75” U616S AirPDC™ bit equipped with shaped PDC Cutters.




Westmoreland County, PA



Greater ROP Versus the Previous Record


Build Angle


Feet Drilled in this Vertical Section

Ready to get started?


In the Marcellus, operators drilling on air still routinely run roller cone bits to achieve desired speed in their drilling programs. Recently, an operator partnered with our team to drill four consistent 8.75″ air tangent runs – building the confidence for an Ulterra PDC.

On the most recent run, this operator utilized Ulterra’s AIR 8.75″ U616S with RAM cutters to drill 5,454 ft. at an unparalleled ROP of 104 ft/hr. This run exceeded the previous overall ROP record set by the roller cone by 15% while building 30°. Across the pad, this design has demonstrated its ability to not only keep up with the standard performance of a roller cone but outpace its best performance.

About AirRaid® Technology

The first AirPDC™ bit designs from the ground up, Ulterra’s AirRaid technology brings the performance of PDC drilling to air drilling applications. With an elevated focus on gas-chamber uniformity thru the drill bit, AirRaid can deliver high performance while air drilling and then ‘mudding up’ to seamlessly drill the following interval on drilling fluid.