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Wide varieties of roller-cone bit designs are available. They provide optimum performance in specific formations and/or particular drilling environments. Manufacturers meticulously collect information on the operation of their bits to enhance future production efficiency. Modern drill bits incorporate significantly different cutting structures and use vastly improved materials compared with those used in the recent past. As a result, bit efficiency has improved systematically through the years.
Regardless of how good a new product or method may be to a drilling operation, the result is always measured in terms of cost per foot or meter. Lowest cost per foot indicates to drilling engineers and supervisors which products to use most advantageously in each situation. Reduced costs lead directly to higher profits or the difference between profit and loss. For those in administration, engineering, manufacturing, and sales, cost calculations are used to evaluate the effectiveness of any product or method, new or old. Because drilling costs are so important, everyone involved should know how to make a few simple cost calculations.