Azar2, João P. T. Tocantins3, Erica Zegarra4

Copyright 2012, Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute - IBP
This Technical Paper was prepared for presentation at the Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012, held between September, 1720, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro. This Technical Paper was selected for presentation by the Technical Committee of the event according to the information contained in the final paper submitted by the author(s). The organizers are not supposed to translate or correct the submitted papers. The material as it is presented, does not necessarily represent Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute’ opinion, or that of its Members or Representatives. Authors consent to the publication of this Technical Paper in the Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 Proceedings.

The KH Series (KINETIC HYBRID) bits combine multiple cutting mechanisms: a PDC cutting structure with alternating Wedge Shaped TSPs (Thermally Stable Polycrystalline) and blades fully impregnated with diamond material. While the new hybrid style bit was initially developed for drilling applications where a non to medium abrasive top section followed by a very abrasive formation, its concept was introduced and tested to face the pre-salt geological uncertainties encountered offshore Brazil. Sometimes PDC bits drill these carbonates effectively and for an extended footage until their cutting elements are damaged by inclusions and a trip is therefore necessary. Hybrid bits allow for similar performance when inclusions are absent but with the added benefit of continued drilling with secondary and tertiary cutting mechanisms potentially saving multiple trips. When used with the appropriate BHA (Bottom Hole Assembly) and drilling parameters, the KH bit offered good performances in term of ROP (Rate Of Penetration) and footage. This paper describes this new bit concept, its features and how it works. It will focus on the specific case of the pre-salt carbonates where the lithology is non-uniform and heterogeneous with occurrence of silicate inclusions. Because this bit combines various cutting mechanism, the selection of the drive system and drilling parameters is critical to achieve the desired performances. Lessons learned acquired while using this bit in various scenarios will be discussed.

1. Introduction
With continuing advances in synthetic diamond cutter technology and improved bit stability, PDC bits have become the dominate force in the worldwide drilling scheme. In 2004, total footage drilled by diamond bits (54%) surpassed that of roller cone bits (46%) and the trend has continued. In spite of the gains, service providers are continually working to expand the application range of PDC/diamond bits into harder, more abrasive formations and inter-bedded hole sections. Indeed, PDC cutting elements are susceptible to thermal damage through abrasive formations as illustrated in figure 1 (left), and to impact damage in non-homogeneous formations and inclusions of chert or pyrite. Once PDC cutting elements are worn or damaged, ROP drops and ring-out on the bit body may occur as illustrated in Figure 1 (right). Historically, PDC bits have therefore performed best in relatively homogeneous, nonabrasive rock applications. Conversely, impregnated bits (shown in Figure 2. right) have been mostly restricted to deep intervals that contain mainly hard and abrasive sands. The Synthetic and/or Natural diamonds (shown figure 2 left) have good thermal stability and abrasion resistance. They improve bit life and footage drilled in abrasive formations. Diamond size, concentration, distribution, and surrounding matrix (bond) can be varied to improve ROP and durability even when drilling through Chert, Pyrite, or conglomerates keeping minimal and non destructive bit vibration. Unfortunately, they are generally much slower than PDC bits in soft to medium strength formations and bit cleaning in soft layers of formation can lead to bit balling.

____________________________________________________________ 1 Ph.D., Drilling System Engineer – SCHLUMBERGER 2 Bachelor, Director Bit Design Engineering – SCHLUMBERGER 3 Bachelor, Drill Bit Product Engineer – SCHLUMBERGER 4 Bachelor, Drilling Engineer – SCHLUMBERGER

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Figure 1. Left: Worn out PDC cutter; Right: ring-out on PDC bit

Figure 2. Left: Impregnated diamonds; Right: Top view of an impregnated bit This left a very common sequence of formations such as abrasive sandstone inter-bedded with soft shale, to be drilled with either roller cone or PDC bits. Neither of the two choices has delivered satisfactory performance in terms of penetration rate or bit life. Working with several operators, Schlumberger has conducted extensive laboratory and field development tests that have resulted in a new and aggressive hybrid bit technology that incorporates the advantages of both PDC and impregnated bits, and patented by Azar (2008). The new bit shown in Figure 3, offers unique advantages for drilling hard/abrasive and inter-bedded formations more economically. This hybrid bit was then successfully run in various locations including Algeria, GOM, Brazil, UK, US, Angola, Russia.

Figure 3. KH hybrid bit While the new hybrid style bit was initially developed for hole sections that contain a non to medium abrasive top section followed by a very abrasive formation, its concept was thought relevant to be applied for the heterogeneous pre-salt carbonates encountered offshore Brazil. Sometimes PDC bits drill these carbonates effectively and for an extended footage until their cutting elements are damaged by inclusions and a trip is therefore necessary. Hybrid bits allow for similar performance when inclusions are absent but with the added benefit of continued drilling with secondary and tertiary cutting mechanisms potentially saving multiple trips. This paper is structured as follows. Section 2 describes this bit concept and how it works. In section 3, we focus on the specific case of the offshore pre-salt carbonates where the lithology is non-uniform and heterogeneous with occurrence of silicate layers and nodules. Because this bit combines various cutting mechanism, the selection of the drive system and drilling parameters is critical to achieve the desired performances. Section 4 will therefore explore the various lessons learned acquired using this bit in various scenarios to achieve maximum performance.


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2. Hybrid Bit Concept and Key Features
The KH Series bits have this Hybrid name due to multiple cutting mechanisms combined in one single cutting structure. It combines as illustrated in Figure 4 (left): a PDC cutting structure; an alternating Wedge Shaped TSPs (Thermally Stable Polycrystalline); and blades with impregnated diamond material. In addition, this bit incorporates high density diamond impregnated cylinders on gage to prevent the bit from going under gage. The blades are fully impregnated with synthetic diamond material as illustrated in figure 4 (right). Extended bit life is achieved through transformation of the cutting mechanism from shearing to grinding as the PDC/TSP elements are worn away.

Figure 4. Left: Cutting mechanisms of the hybrid bit. Right: fully impregnated blades The goal is to attain similar ROP to PDC bits in the initial formation. The TSP elements engage the formation after the PDC cutters wear to a certain level. When the PDC and TSP are worn flush to the blade, the cutting mechanism transforms from shearing to a grinding action as shown in Figure 5. This triple stacked cutting structure results in a fast initial ROP (PDC) and much improved durability (TSP and impregnated portions).

Figure 5. Cutting action of the impregnated structure The new hybrid bit has an improved ROP in hard/abrasive formations through an innovative shearing cutting mechanism. Indeed, the PDC cutters provide complete bottom hole coverage while the TSP elements track the PDC cutters at predetermined lower exposure. The PDC/TSP cutting structure of Hybrid bits is analyzed through the Integrated Dynamic Analysis Engineering System IDEAS© as shown in Figure 6 to optimize bit behavior and reduce damaging vibrations. Further information on IDEAS© can be found in Aslaksen et al. (2006).


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Figure 6. IDEAS optimization of the PDC/TSP cutting structure The Hydraulics consists of nozzles instead of fixed ports therefore adding flexibility in adjusting the TFA (Total Flow Area). CFD (computational fluid dynamics) optimized hydraulics was utilized to optimize the bit’s cleaning characteristics ensuring efficient cleaning and cooling of the cutting structure as illustrated is Figure 7.

Figure 7. CFD optimization It is worth noting that hybrid bits employ the highest abrasion resistance ONYX cutters available on the market therefore extending the life of the PDC cutting structure. Figure 8 shows result of abrasion test for ONYX cutters versus standard and premium cutters. For more details on ONYX refer to Plemons et al. (2010).

Figure 8. ONYX high abrasion resistance cutter As shown in Figure 9, a hybrid bit is dull graded in a similar manner to an impregnated bit but since the whole blade has usable diamond, initial blade heights are recorded and final blade heights are measured after the bit is run. Using the amount of worn blade/PDC, a simple 0-8 ratio scaling is used to calculate its appropriate dull grade. Grading 4

Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 is based entirely on blade/PDC height. Post run measurement should be taken on same profile section of the bit as first measurement. For example, if the initial blade/PDC height is measured at 4.0 cm and after running the bit the final blade/PDC height is 2.0 cm, a final dull grade of 4 is given.

Figure 9. Dull grading of a KH bit

3. Application in the pre-salt carbonates
3.1. Challenge description Pre-salt carbonates offshore Brazil represents one of the most important recent oil discoveries. One technological challenge yet to be faced to turn these reservoirs viable is the unpredictable bit durability and very slow ROP. Indeed, when exiting the evaporate layer, the formation encountered is heterogeneous with varying thickness of layers. Some intervals are PDC drillable with ROP up to 6m/hr and bit runs over 250m. Other intervals contain hard and abrasive carbonates as shown in Figure 10 with occurrence of stromatolitic limestones, microbial laminitis, volcanics, and sporadic silicates inter-layers and nodules. Various POOH were dictated by heavily damaged and worn out bits in less than 30m of drilling.

Courtesy of Repsol

From Peixoto Filho and Souza (2010)

Figure 10. Pictures from pre-salt carbonates The heterogeneity and unpredictability of the formation drillability and particularly the sporadic occurrence of silicate, make the Bit-Drive selection challenging. Historically, various bit types were tried: - Roller cone averaging 100 to 250m runs at 1 to 3 m/hr leading to CPM (Cost Per Meter) often higher than 30K$; - Impreg averaging 400 to 500m runs at 1 to 3 m/hr offering lower CPM of 15 to 20K$; - PDC runs varying from 20 to 250m with 0.5 to 6 m/hr. While the CPM for a long runs can be lower than 10k$, it can gets over 50k$ for the short ones. While the hybrid style bit was initially developed for hole sections that contain a non to medium abrasive top section followed by a very abrasive formation, its concept was thought relevant to be applied for the heterogeneous presalt carbonates encountered offshore Brazil. The motivation is that before any silicate is encountered, good ROP is achieved with primary PDC cutters; When encountering hard and abrasive inclusions or layers (Carbonate with silica 5

Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 content or volcanic formation) abrasion resistance is improved by using TSPs; After these cutting elements are worn, the bit transforms into an impregnated bit and continue to drill avoiding premature POOH. Several operators used the hybrid bit to drilling a total footage over 1800meters in 12 1/4in and 1100 meters in 8 1/2in hole size. From a cost per meter (CPM) perspective, it was shown that when used properly the Hybrid bit offers an average CPM below 20k$ , with best runs below 15k$ when the carbonates encountered was more PDC friendly, and worse runs at about 25k$ when the PDC structures seemed to degrade quickly. Therefore, when planned properly and mainly for exploratory wells where carbonates are very unpredictable and prior knowledge of the formation is reduced, the hybrid solution can lead to few hundreds of thousand dollars of cost saving. 3.2. Drilling system and parameters considerations The KH bit was used with various drive systems and parameters to drill pre-salt carbonates including: Rotary BHA with 140-180 RPM High torque RSS motors with 200-250 RPM High speed motors with 600-900 RPM Turbines at over 1000 bit RPM While most runs showed improvement in performances and have led one of the operator to adopt this hybrid bit systematically in their pre-salt drilling campaign, few bit runs did not show performance improvement due to inappropriate drive system and drilling parameters selection. The different runs offered an interesting dataset to analyze the performances obtained with the various BHA (Bottom Hoe Assembly) and operating parameters applied. This interesting exercise offered a better understanding on how to use this technology in this formation in order to maximize its performance. Various recommended drilling practices and lessons learnt were concluded and will be listed in the subsequent section. 3.2.1. Hybrid with high speed downhole motors or Turbines

The hybrid bit was run twice on turbine in 8 1/2in hole. Figure 11 shows the drilling parameters used in one of the Hybrid-Turbine runs. Bit RPM ranged from 1200 to 1250. In this case, lower bit RPM could not be achieved at the start of the run by reducing flow rate as this would shut down the MWD telemetry. Also WOB could not be increased above 15 klbs as the torque generated would stall the turbine. Unfortunately, the PDC/TSP structure did not generate any considerable added value in this scenario and performances were comparable to an impregnated bit in term of ROP and footage (Figure 12 shows a picture of a hybrid after 400meters of drilling with a turbine. Bit was graded 4-4). Similar results were also obtained when trying to use a high speed motor spinning the bit at 700-900 RPM.
Example of Hybrid run with Turbine
Downhole RPM (rpm)

rpm 1300.00 1280.00 1260.00 1240.00 1220.00 1200.00 1180.00
1160.00 1140.00 1120.00 1100.00 5050.00


WOB 20.00 18.00 16.00 14.00 12.00 10.00 8.00
6.00 4.00 2.00 0.00 5450.00








Depth (m)

Figure 11. Drilling parameters used on Hybrid bit run with turbine on a pre-salt well Looking at worldwide experience, PDC cutting structures have offered good performances when used with turbine to drill through homogeneous and non abrasive formations. However, at the very low DOC (Depth Of Cut) seen by the cutters at high turbine RPM, an abrasive layer would lead to premature failure of the cutting structure, and non homogeneous formation such as conglomerate or inclusions would lead to premature cutters chipping. 6

WOB (klbs) / ROP (m/hr)

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Figure 12. Hybrid bit after over 400meters of turbine drilling through pre-salt Main lesson learned is that spinning the PDC structure at high speed is detrimental in these lithologies. Therefore, the hybrid bit should not be run with any turbine or high speed motors for pre-salt drilling. 3.2.2. Hybrid on rotary BHA

Two bit runs used the hybrid bit on a rotary BHA for an 8 1/2in hole. One bit run drilled for over 400meters while the other was POOH after only 70m. Looking at the drilling data from the 400m bit run: - 5 m/hr was achieved for 200m using 120-140 RPM used with 20 klbs at 375gpm - When the impregnated structure was engaged, a maximum of 160-180 RPM at 25 klbs at could be applied due to top drive limitation. ROP was kept at an average of 2 m/hr for 200m and the bit was graded 8-5. The flow rate was limited to 355 gpm due to static fluid losses Looking at the drilling data from the 70m run: - Flow rate was kept at 355gpm due to static fluid losses - The run was started 25-35 klbs at 160-180 RPM with peak of surface RPM at 250 due to Stick and Slip , therefore exposing the PDC cutting structure to higher load than on the first run. Even though the POOH was dictated by partial losses encountered, the bit came out 8-8 with marks of ringout as seen in Figure 13.

Figure 13. 8-8 bit after a rotary run at 180 RPM 35 klbs WOB Various lessons learnt could be derived: - The impreg structure could be cleaned with a low flow rate (355gpm for an 8 ½” hole) confirming the excellent hydraulic design for this bit - 160-180 top drive RPM where sufficient to achieve a reasonable 2 m/hr ROP when drilling with the impregnated structure.


Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 High Stick and Slip seen when drilling in rotary can be detrimental to the PDC/TSP cutting structure. Reducing the WOB in this case could save the cutter life but will compromise the ROP. Some BHA design guidelines can also help attenuating these dynamics. Even with the above mentioned lessons learnt to further enhance achieved performances, Rotary BHA is not the best option to take advantage of the hybrid bit concept in this scenario. Hybrid with downhole motors and motor RSS A total of 11 bit runs were drilled combining the KH bit with downhole power section: 8 runs in 12 1/4in with PowerDrive vorteX with a 9 5/8in power section 2 runs in 12 1/4in with 9 5/8in motor 1 runs in 8 1/2in with 7 in motor




All bits run exceeded 150meters with 4 bit runs above 250meters. ROP achieved depended on the formations encountered reaching up to 9.4 m/hr in one of the bit runs where the operator encountered a PDC friendly layer at the top of the section. Similar to what was learned from the rotary BHA run, impregnated structure could achieve good ROP with RPM not higher than 220-250 in these cases. The downhole power section has the advantage though compared to rotary to achieve higher RPM than what a top drive could deliver. If total pressure drop and other well considerations allows, the driller could maximize surface RPM and flow rate once drilling with the impregnated part. It was noticed, that when drilling with the impreg structure, higher WOB is needed compared to a typical turbine-impregnated bit application. This might be due to the fact that the worn out PDC and TSP cutters acts as bearings. However, excessive WOB will lead to a faster wear rate of the blades. Therefore, it is recommended to do frequent drill of test in order to maximize the bit life in this case. Unlike turbines, motor can handle high torque and therefore ROP can be enhanced when drilling with the PDC cutting structure. Also due to the lower level of Stick and slip obtained compared to rotary drilling, the PDC structure will be better preserved. In order to reduce the RPM when drilling with the PDC structure, the driller could reduce surface RPM and eventually the flow rate. Another added value from the hybrid is that cutting samples were collected during most of the runs at surface for G&G analysis. Indeed, even when the impregnated blades were exposed, few cutters on the inner part existed and kept shearing the formation. From a G&G perspective, this is a huge added value when comparing to turbine applications in cases where cutting sample needs to be collected. The primary reason behind using the hybrid bit was to face the lithology uncertainty. In one of the well the KH bit was tried after an M0813 PDC bit that drilled only 60 meters (7m/hr for 20m, and then 2 to 3 m/hr for 40 m) and came out 4-8. The KH813 Hybrid bit achieved 9m/hr for 20m, 3 m/hr for 90m, and then 2 m/hr for 200m . It came out 8-8 after 300meters drilling. A subsequent run with a new KH813encountered a non expected softer formation drilling at 9m/hr for 138m and came out 2-3 for TD. On another well, an Mi616 PDC bit achieved 3m/hr for 18m, and then 1 to 2 m/hr for 10 m. It came out 8-8 due to ROP after less than 30 meters. The KH813 Hybrid was then run and achieved 24m/hr for 23m, and then 1.5-2 m/hr for 227m. It came out 7-8. A 2nd KH813 run drilled at 4 m/hr for 315m and came out 7-8 for well TD.

4. Conclusions and way forward
The hybrid bit offers a novel solution to face the geological uncertainties of the Brazilian pre-salt. Using this bit allows the operator to achieve long bit run at high ROP when no silicate inclusion are encountered, and the opportunity to keep drilling ahead at reasonable ROP even if a nodule is encountered after few meters drilling. Lower cost per meter can be therefore achieved with the hybrid bit – faster initial higher ROP (PDC) and longer time spent on bottom drilling (improved durability with TSP then Impreg). Analysis has shown that good and consistent performances were obtained when properly planning and running this bit in a combination with a downhole power section. Cuttings were also collected for lithology analysis even when drilling with the impregnated body as result of the remaining inner cutters structure. Drilling parameters should be constantly adjusted to maximize bit life and run performance. On the way forward, efforts will be made for surface and downhole data processing in real time to detect when the impreg structure is exposed and change the drilling parameters to maximize ROP. Also the KH hybrid bit will take advantage of the state-of-art of PDC and impregnated bit designs and their evolving design guidelines for pre-salt and the bit design will keep evolving to continually improve the efficiency and durability.


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7. Acknowledgements
The authors wish to thank Schlumberger management for permission to publish and present this work.

8. References
AZAR, M. Bits and cutting structures. US Patent # 7,426,969, Sep 2008. PLEMONS, B., DOUGLAS, C., SHEN, Y., ZHAN, G., ZHAN, Y. New Cutter Technology for Faster Drilling in Hard/Abrasive Formations. International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, SPE 132143-MS, Beijing, China, 8-10 June 2010. ASLAKSEN, H. , ANNAND, M., DUNCAN, R., FJAERE, A., PAEZ, L. , TRAN, U. Integrated FEA Modeling Offers System Approach to Drillstring Optimization. IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, SPE 99018-MS, Miami, Florida, USA, 21-23 February 2006. F.T. PEIXOTO FILHO, I.S. DE SOUZA NETO, Brazilian Pre-Salt: The Challenges of Coring at a New Frontier. SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference, Peru, 1-3 December 2010.