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  • Particle drilling alters standard rock-cutting approach


    G. A. Tibbitts and G. G. Galloway

    One of the largest plums that bit and service companies have wanted to pick for the last 30 years is the ability to drill hard rock much faster than normal rates. Many developments have been made in roller cone bits, polycrystalline diamond compact bits, and impregnated diamond bits with continual progress. Primarily through innovations in material science and engineering design, the technology stream has chipped away at improvements in the speed at which hard rock is drilled. Even with very significant improvement, these bit types still rely on high applied weight, torque and/or rotational speed to marginally increase penetration rates. Both high applied weight and high rotational speed contribute to shorter bit life, requiring more trips to change out worn bits or creating deviation problems in the wellbore that cost significant time and money to remediate. In spite of constant progress, operators today are still often faced with the “80-20 rule.”

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