Self-Adjusting PDC Bits Reduce Drilling Dysfunction, Increase Drilling Efficiency in Gulf of Mexico Wells

Rodrigue, Wayne (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Callais, Ryckman (Baker Hughes, a GE Company) | Roy Chowdhury, Ashabikash (Baker Hughes, a GE Company)

OnePetro 

Abstract

Drilling interbedded formations can induce torsional vibrations that result in inefficient drilling and damage to drillstring components. A common bit choice for these applications is a standard polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bit; however, PDC bits due to its shearing action often exhibit some level of torsional dysfunction.

Historically, the most effective method to mitigate torsional vibrations in PDC bits is to use fixed depth-of-cut (DOC) control technology that restricts the PDC bit formation engagement at a pre-determined ratio of rate of penetration (ROP) and drillstring RPM. The challenge with using fixed DOC control is finding a compromise between limiting vibrations through targeted sections without limiting ROP in others. To address this, a self-adaptive DOC technology was developed. The self-adaptive DOC technology automatically adjusts the DOC engagement threshold as drilling conditions change, eliminating manual parameter adjustment required at surface to manage torsional dysfunctions.

This paper will cover self-adaptive bit runs from deepwater Gulf of Mexico wells. In a recent run, a 12¼-in. bit drilled past 30,000ft measured depth (MD) in an abrasive and interbedded section. The self-adaptive bit delivered a 48-percent improvement in ROP over the best offset, saving 23 drilling hours while exhibiting 97-percent smooth drilling concerning stick-slip and 100-percent smooth drilling to axial and lateral vibrations. Another application yielded excellent results in a section featuring bottom-hole coring work. In three separate runs, the self-adaptive bit drilled a sand/shale formation with 98-percent smooth drilling concerning lateral vibrations, axial vibrations, and whirl. It also exhibited 97-percent smooth drilling concerning stick-slip. The self-adjusting technology helped to return to drilling despite the coring disrupting the bottom-hole pattern.

Real-time drilling dynamics data measured downhole is used for demonstrating the effectiveness of self-adaptive DOC control technology for sustained drilling performance improvement in deepwater wells.