Industry's First PDC Bit Gauge Design for Improved Tracking In North American Horizontal Wells

Spencer, Reed (Baker Hughes, a GE company) | Pierce, Bradley D. (Baker Hughes, a GE company) | Grimes, Robert E. (Baker Hughes, a GE company)


PDC bit gauge pad design parameters are well understood for providing the desired build up rate (BUR), but these designs provide minimal value in the horizontal section. Outside forces, such as bit walk and formation push, can cause deviations in inclination and azimuth. Trajectory corrections on both motor and RSS assemblies can significantly slow the drilling process and result in more tortuous wellbores. Thus, a PDC gauge pad design that provides minimal side cutting at low side loads, while achieving typical BUR at higher side loads should result in a PDC bit that tracks better with fewer unintended deviations and resulting trajectory corrections for improved overall drilling efficiency. Prototype bits were developed with a tracking gauge pad design.