Drilling projects with tricones are like weddings: You spend countless hours planning every facet of them down to the last detail, just to ensure that nothing goes wrong. And then it does.
Given the price tag of most drilling jobs, even with cost-effective tricones as your bit of choice, it pays to anticipate potential hazards before they strike. Being aware of worst-case scenarios, their causes and possible solutions will set you up for success long before you even begin drilling.
The Hole Truth
To your buddy whose only experience with oil is changing it every 3,000 km, drilling with tricones sounds easy in theory. Figure out where you want to end up, chart a path and then drill in a straight line until you get there. He might be surprised to learn that drilling a well with tricones is a bit more complicated than that.
For one thing, there is the possibility of encountering hole deviation, in which case drill bits such as tricones may depart from the borehole trajectory that was first plotted. This can lead to delays in drilling as well as higher costs.
While the cause is not always clear, it generally results from some significant force acting on drill bits like tricones and driving them from their intended path. This could be anything from the bottom hole assembly encompassing the tricones to the WOB (weight on bit), which is the amount of downward force exerted.
Significantly, hole deviation can sometimes be traced to the type and design of the drill bit, which is one reason that tricones are a possible solution to this hazard. Many tricones are sealed roller bits that are shielded by a protective barrier while other tricones are sealed journals with extremely tough faces. As a result, they are extremely durable and, like the cool-headed MC at the nightmare wedding, less likely to crack under pressure.
Tools of the Trade
As in any line of work, you can’t get first class results with second-class tools. When it comes to drilling with tricones, equipment that is inferior or improperly maintained is a leading cause of problems on site. Whether it’s improper rig hydraulics, faulty well control systems or insufficient hoisting power, your drilling project is only as strong as its weakest link.
That’s why it’s crucial to use exceptional drill bits like tricones. Designed with three cone shaped heads that are each equipped with several rows of teeth, tricones are easier to maintain and control than other drill bits. This is especially important when dealing with hard rock formations like shale, granite and limestone that can prove especially challenging in the absence of tricones.
You wouldn’t trust your tone deaf uncle to sing “here comes the bride”, so don’t jeopardize a multi million dollar drilling project by failing to employ tricones and settling for less than the best.
Even with the best equipment and intentions, setbacks can occur. It’s well documented that drilling at an angle more than 30 degrees from vertical can lead to difficulties in the removal of cuttings. This in turn can trigger expensive drilling issues such as premature bit wear, slow drilling and formation fracturing. Increasing flow rate while drilling with tricones and using drill string rotation can both enhance hole cleaning and lower your risk from excessive cuttings.
Also, you can further reduce the problem of premature bit wear by choosing tricones for your next project. This is especially true with sealed journal tricones, the strongest and toughest bits on the market. They are well known for their durability and are far less likely than other bits to cause disruptions in the drilling process.
While you can never eliminate problems entirely, you can take steps to minimize them such as selecting tricones for your drilling operation. Not only are they the perfect wedding of reliability and quality, but also unlike the shotgun marriage, they’ll continue to exceed your expectations long after the honeymoon is over.
Browse an outstanding selection of used tricones for sale.