New drill bit will add to production efficiency for wells
Howard Hughes Sr. revolutionized the drill bit to more than 100 years ago to accelerate the oil boom that made Houston and Texas the nation’s energy capital. Today, his legacy company is aiming to make the next evolutionary step with new drill bits that automatically adjust to the underground rock terrain.The "smart bits" will make the horizontal drilling required for shale production more efficient and will likely reduce the cost over time.
The pressure-sensitive technology is part of a growing effort from Baker Hughes and other power players like Schlumberger and Halliburton to build more durable and faster-drilling bits that adapt to any type of shale rock.
Houston-based Baker Hughes on Tuesday launches its TerrAdapt self-adjusting drill bit, which, for the first time, automatically extends diamond-material buttons to provide additional protection to the bit’s diamond cutters when the going gets too rough and retracts them when the rock softens up.