Smith Bits Unveils New Drill Bit for Shale Drilling

Smith Bits announced the release of its Spear shale-optimized steel body polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bit. The Spear drill bit is specifically designed for shale plays to efficiently drill a curve and a long lateral hole section for faster penetration rates in low hydraulic energy environments.

"The Spear bit makes efficient use of rig time by significantly enhancing both rate of penetration (ROP) and run length," said Guy Arrington, president, Smith Bits. "Additionally, improved directional control allows for the realization of complex well trajectories. Since the bit is capable of drilling both curve and lateral sections, it reduces the number of trips downhole and the associated rig time. The bit also reduces customer's NPT by minimizing vibration and preventing packed blades, plugged nozzles and cutter damage."

The shale-optimized steel body PDC drill bit has been used successfully in the Bakken, Barnett, Marcellus, Haynesville and Eagle Ford shale formations of North America. In the Marcellus shale for example, target ROP for drilling the horizontal leg was 50 ft/h. The Spear bit achieved ROPs in excess of 65 ft/h, a 30 percent improvement over the operator-set target. In the Haynesville, the bit consistently drilled the horizontal section in one run at ROPs 10- to 20-percent faster than the best offset performance.

The Spear drill bit permits high ROP through a combination of tall and thin blades, which provide a large area for cuttings flow. A unique hydraulic design directs flow towards the cutter faces, keeping them sharp, and also sweeping cuttings away from the bottom of the hole and around the bullet-shaped body into the annulus.

Lower torque response and improved directional control are provided through the use of small cutters on the Spear drill bit. To reduce and redistribute cutter loading and minimize vibration that is caused by high formation rock strength, the LoVibe depth of cut control inserts are placed behind the shoulder and gauge cutters.

The Spear drill bit is IDEAS certified using a proprietary integrated drillbit design platform and can be fitted with the premium ONYX PDC cutters option for hard rock drilling applications.

The unique characteristics of the steel bit body have made it possible to overcome hydraulic challenges, maximize hole cleaning, improve directional response, reduce borehole tortuosity and enhance stability.