The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the improved drilling performance achieved by operators in the Asia Pacific region by implementing shaped Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) cutter technology. The success of these PDC bit designs is achieved using a design process augmented by advanced drilling simulations to optimize cutter placement specifically for the formations present in the region. For decades the drilling industry has been aware of the potential performance gains, in certain targeted formations, by forming cylindrical cutters into other geometrical shapes. These early generation shaped cutters had limited success due to diamond technology, along with the high manufacturing costs associated with shaping the cutters. Recently, PDC drill bits with shaped cutter designs are becoming more prolific in particular formation types. A number of these formations targeted for improved drilling performance are present in the Asia Pacific region.
This paper describes a unique advanced drilling simulation software that has been calibrated with data recorded from various pressurized drilling tests in specific rock types in the drilling lab. It also explores the new design processes that integrates these advanced drilling simulations against historical drilling data and aids in the down selection of design concepts. This new process has been used by application engineers in the Asia Pacific region and supported by a global service delivery team to optimize shaped PDC cutter bit designs.
Improved drilling performance is achieved with the correct application of shaped PDC cutter technology. Case studies from the Asia Pacific region demonstrate how shaped cutter PDC designs allowed operators in China and Brunei to improve drilling performance. For example, a Brunei operator doubled the rate of penetration previous seen in these targeted applications. In South West China, longer footage and rate of penetration (ROP) improvements have been achieved. In North West China, 30% ROP improvements have been observed.
This novel design process enables performance driven design decisions with minimal need to iterate in the field, providing the operator with an optimal design to suit their needs.