An Approach to Use Refurbished Bits from Previous Wells that Involves Cost Savings and Effective Bit Utilization

Tariq, Bilal (Saudi Aramco) | Duran, Roberto (Saudi Aramco) | Hashmi, Atef (Saudi Aramco) | Shafeiq, Mohammad (Halliburton)



An inventive application for Roller Cone (TCI) and Polycrystalline Diamond Compact (PDC) bits (all sizes) that involves reusing the bits in future wells for similar well design types. With factory drilling being carried out in one of the Gas field (among other areas in gas) with over 50 runs a year provides an excellent opportunity to utilize rerun bits, both TCI and PDC, that have a 90-95% life remaining. Using this approach provides an effective and efficient way of cost saving during drilling.

While the cost of new bits in the country is very high compared to markets outside, mainly due to logistics issues with recent and continuous enhancements in bit designs, it makes complete sense to reuse these bits; especially when a huge inventory is available due to so many rigs drilling the similar type well designs in one or similar gas fields. The main criterion is to keep a track of all sizes of bits used on all gas rigs in the area and in the tool house (warehouse). Often, a particular size bit, either TCI or PDC, is used to drill a very short interval in a particular section due to a technical reason for the bit in the well being pulled out of hole, and is almost in brand new condition. Having an up-to-date inventory of these bits from the gas rigs, the tool house, and bit vendors makes it easy to identify such bits and utilize them in new wells, which provides significant cost savings.

Using the rerun bit approach immediately takes the bit cost for that particular hole section to 0$ and so we can achieve additional drilling optimization by utilizing a mud motor in that section, i.e., 12-in., 8-3/8 in., or 5-7/8 in., and further increasing the rate of penetration (ROP) by maintaining the same cost/ft ($/ft) in the section and even breaking bit record runs. In the last few wells it has been evident that by using this approach, the cost/ft for the 12-in. section drilling in the Gas Field field is seen as low as 52% of the new bit for the same year; providing a benchmark for the field. This would not have been possible without utilizing the rerun bits from previous wells. This approach is proving to be very beneficial. As a result of a number of these TCI and PDC bits available in reusable condition as a result of a large number of wells drilled every year in gas fields, significant cost savings have been achieved, which translates into millions of dollars in savings.

The rerun bits have substantial advantages over the new bits, primarily due to cost savings and enhanced bit designs with high durability and bit life over the last decade. For particular application in gas drilling, it is clear that having a large inventory of rerun bits available for almost all hole sizes will enable drilling cost optimization.