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Ah, the bit: the pointy end of the spear where irrestible force meets immovable object. To many people, bit technology is a black art complete with mysterious incantations, smoke, rattling bones, jungle drums and the reading of tea leaves. But it is much more complicated than these “priestly” devices. Several new technologies have emerged that deserve discussion. These show that bit construction is advancing to increase penetration rate and reduce overall well cost. One involves a new bit configuration that allows access to the open hole below the bit. When I first mentioned this to a colleague, he immediately asked what I had been smoking. Nope, folks; it’s true. One company has perfected a casing bit with a disconnectable center. Once the well is drilled through the pay zone using casing, the drillstring is pulled to the top of the pay and a wireline logging tool with a special bottom sub is run to the bit.
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