Performance Report: DRILL BEADS / DBRU Tandem Cuts Drilling Time, Costs

Barnett Shale, Denton County, Texas

Challenge: As is common with Barnett Shale wells, the operator had experienced increased torque once the build section was completed and drilling of the lateral section began. Typically, the higher torque was accompanied with reduced ROP, thus increasing well costs.

Solution: Once more, the operator selected the ALPINE SPECIALTY CHEMICALS ALPINE DRILL BEADS additive, which is a completely spherical co-polymer plastic bead designed to act as a mechanical lubricant when added to the active mud system. To reduce well costs further, the additive was to be employed in conjunction with the ALPINE DRILL BEADS RECOVERY UNIT (DBRU), which is engineered to minimize the volume of drill bead particles lost to surface solids-control equipment, thereby eliminating costly and repetitive additions of drill beads to the mud system.

Result: Once the ALPINE DRILL BEADS Were added to the active drilling fluid system, torque decreased immediately by 20% with ROP increasing an average of 10% to a high of 43 ft/hr (13 m/hr) compared to an average of 30-33 ft/hr. Consequently, the operator saved nearly three days drilling time for a net savings estimated at US $50,000. In addition, the DBRU recovered the used beads, which subsequently were placed in bulk bags for re-use on upcoming wells, which promises to lower further drilling costs of later Barnett Shale wells.

The Details

As is typical, torque increased while drilling the lateral making sliding difficult and reducing the penetration rate. Once the operator added 3% by volume ALPINE DRILL BEADS additive to the mud system, torque decreased instantly with an appreciable increase in the drilling rate. The reduced torque and higher ROP were maintained effectively throughout the remainder of the well.

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