Smith Bits Unveils Next Generation Drill Bit for Shale Plays

Smith Bits, a Schlumberger company, released its next-generation Spear shale-optimized steel-body PDC (polycrystalline diamond compact) drill bit tailored for unconventional shale plays.

"With the introduction of the Spear PDC bits into the shale plays in 2011, our customers saw an immediate improvement in drilling performance in the curve and lateral hole sections," said Guy Arrington, president, Bits & Advanced Technologies, Schlumberger. "With experience of more than 6,000 Spear bit runs to date, we incorporated specific design elements into the next-generation bit to deliver even more rate of penetration (ROP), further lowering drilling costs in unconventional wells."

A range of application-specific features were incorporated into the next-generation Spear bit, including improved body geometry and hydraulic enhancements, engineered to minimize blade packing, improve cutter cleaning and increase ROP. Cutter layouts were fine-tuned with IDEAS integrated drillbit design platform to deliver improved ROP while ensuring smooth directional control.

In the Eagle Ford shale, the first-generation steel-body PDC bit established the field benchmark for drilling the lateral in one run. The next-generation Spear bit design was introduced into the same application and successfully set a new performance record. For one customer, the new bit drilled the entire lateral at an average rate of 79 feet per hour (fph), compared to median performance of 65 fph, representing a 22 percent improvement in ROP.

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