At the heart of every drilling process is the drill bit. In the case of oil and gas drilling, the choice of drill bit is strongly influenced by the type of media where the bit will be used. The right bit choice augments the rate at which drilling can be accomplished and minimizes costly and time-consuming drillstring bit trips.
Polycrystalline Diamond Compact (PDC) drill bits have become very popular for oil and gas drilling applications. A major factor in the selection and effectiveness of a PDC drill bit is the type of formation to be drilled. There are three types of formations -- soft, medium and hard:
- Soft formations include unconsolidated sands, clays, soft limestones, red beds and shale
- Medium formations include calcites, dolomites, limestones and hard shale
- Hard formations include hard shale, calcites, mudstones, cherty limestones and other hard and abrasive formations
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