Smith Bits Unveils Premium PDC Cutter

Smith Bits announced at the Offshore Europe 2011 Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition the availability of its ONYX II premium polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) cutter. The ability of this cutter to retain a sharp edge enables it to drill more efficiently in the harshest formations.

"The ONYX II PDC cutter is driven by field performance and the result of an extensive collaboration between our engineering, manufacturing and research and development groups," said Guy Arrington, president, Bits & Advanced Technologies, Schlumberger. "A comprehensive analysis of dull cutter conditions combined with new drilling objectives from our clients drove our development team to push the boundaries of advanced materials science and synthetic diamond manufacturing."

The introduction of the original ONYX cutter made a significant contribution to PDC bit performance. To continue advancement of PDC bit performance required upgraded cutter technology. The ONYX II premium cutter is synthesized using highly developed manufacturing techniques, including a proprietary two-step process that gives the new cutter superior abrasive wear and exceptional resistance to thermal degradation when compared to prior generations of PDC cutter technology. The cutter is designed to resist the spalling and chipping that shortens the life of other hard formation drill bits.

Laboratory and Field Testing

To evaluate the improved wear characteristics of the new PDC cutters, a controlled laboratory comparison was conducted on granite. The new PDC cutters showed a 20% reduction in wear flat area with minimal chipping and degradation, as measured against the earlier ONYX PDC cutters.

In Sublette County, Wyoming, a 6-in MDi516 bit equipped with the new ONYX II cutters outperformed an offset well drill bit fitted with ONYX cutters, the prior generation PDC cutter. A notable 4,775 ft was drilled in 78.5 hours at a rate of 60.8 fph, compared to 3,900 ft drilled in 79.4 hrs at an average rate of 49.1 fph.

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