The oil and gas industry has experienced multiple market surges and declines over the past decades. The latest downturn further assures the industry's nature of ‘change.’ Technology plays a key role in the management of change, allowing operators to maximize Return on Investment (ROI) through Cost per Foot (CPF) minimization. The adaptive drill bit was introduced to meet a major drilling operator's increasing demand for enhanced drilling efficiency and Non Productive Time (NPT) reduction.

The ‘adaptive drill bit’ embodies a hydro-mechanical apparatus and is entirely autonomous, requiring no input from surface as the system takes action to adapt downhole. Prior to the introduction of this exclusive technology, drill bits have been static devices, incapable of altering their characteristics in response to changes in formation or downhole loading conditions. The smart feature mitigates drilling vibration and hence improves drilling efficiency.

In the subject application, the 12.25-in. intermediate curved section is formed of challenging interbedded lithology [20-30K UCS], known to induce high drilling vibration levels. The high drilling vibrations typically jeopardize tools/rig components reliability and reduce drilling energy efficiency, leading to delayed section delivery and NPT. A diverse international team was appointed to develop an optimized solution for this market opportunity. The team introduced the adaptive drill bit and a premium technology Rotary Steerable System (RSS) combined solution to overcome the high torsional vibrations challenge and improve drilling energy efficiency.

In Kuwait, the first field deployment of the optimized solution reduced vibration levels by 33% and raised Rate of Penetration (ROP) by 42% from average field performance. The adaptive drill bit and RSS drilled at an average ROP of 44.3 ft/hr through approximately 2,500 feet building from 0 to 35 degrees at minimal steer force, offering 14% ROP leverage from competitor's best. The section was safely delivered one day earlier than offsets with zero NPT. Furthermore, the operator has requested for the technology utilization in three new drilling applications.

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