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Improving penetration rates in Wyoming's Green River basin's Wamsutter field presented a difficult challenge that required innovative thinking, challenging paradigms and application of new technology. The result has been a momentous increase in rate of penetration (ROP) that improves field economics and increases the number of potential drilling candidates in this active region.
Slow drilling rates in the field's deeper formations were caused by laminated stringers of hard shale and soft bentonite. Unfortunately, the method for addressing bit-balling in the soft sections was counter to the method for optimizing ROP in the hard sections. The solution came in two steps.
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