the top of the drill string as the bore hole gets deeper. To cool andlubricate the drill bit and to carry away the chips of rock cut by it, aviscous fluid called drilling mud is pumped down the drill string. Themud passes through holes in the drill bit and then flows back up thehole in the space between the bore hole wall and the drill string.
2.2. Drill Bits
Drilling costs are greatly affected by how quickly the drill bit
can penetrate the hard,abrasive, fractured rocks of a geothermal
location, and by how long it can last before thedrill string needs to be taken out of the hole to replace the bit. If both
penetrationrate and bit life were doubled, drilling costs would drop an average of 15 percent.
Two kinds of bits are used
Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bitsFor virtually all drilling in either geothermal or oil and gas wells roller-cone bits and polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits. Roller cone bits have toothed cones thatroll on the bottom of the hole as the bit rotates, each tooth crushing the small area of rock beneath it.The PDC bit uses thin layers of synthetic diamond bonded to tungsten carbide-cobaltstuds or blades. The diamond layer gives the cutter extreme resistance to abrasive wear inthe shearing action of cutting. PDC bits are especially well suited to drilling through hotrock because they have no moving parts, so high-temperature seals, bearings, andlubricants are not an issue. They have gained this tremendous market acceptance becausethey have consistently drilled faster and lasted longer than roller cone bits. For geothermal drilling, however, PDC bits do not work reliably well in rock that is morethan moderately hard. These efforts will lead to enhance performance, extending fullapplication of PDC bits, with its attendant cost savings, to the hot, hard rocks of geothermal reservoirs.