Smaller Footprint Drilling System for Deep and Hard Rock Environments; Feasibility of Ultra-High-Speed Diamond Drilling Page: 3 of 72
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Feasibility of Ultra-High Speed Diamond Drilling
The two phase program addresses long-term developments in deep well and hard rock drilling.
TerraTek believes that significant improvements in drilling deep hard rock will be obtained by
applying ultra-high rotational speeds (greater than 10,000 rpm). The work includes a feasibility
of concept research effort aimed at development that will ultimately result in the ability to
reliably drill "faster and deeper" possibly with smaller, more mobile rigs. The principle focus is
on demonstration testing of diamond bits rotating at speeds in excess of 10,000 rpm to achieve
high rate of penetration (ROP) rock cutting with substantially lower inputs of energy and loads.
The significance of the "ultra-high rotary speed drilling system" is the ability to drill into rock at
very low weights on bit and possibly lower energy levels. The drilling and coring industry today
does not practice this technology. The highest rotary speed systems in oil field and mining
drilling and coring today run less than 10,000 rpm-usually well below 5,000 rpm.
This document provides the progress through two phases of the program entitled "Smaller
Footprint Drilling System for Deep and Hard Rock Environments: Feasibility of Ultra-High-
Speed Diamond Drilling" for the period starting 30 June 2003 and concluding 31 March 2009.
The accomplishments of Phases 1 and 2 are summarized as follows:
* TerraTek reviewed applicable literature and documentation and convened a project kick-
off meeting with Industry Advisors in attendance (see Black and Judzis).
* TerraTek designed and planned Phase I bench scale experiments (See Black and Judzis).
Improvements were made to the loading mechanism and the rotational speed monitoring
instrumentation. New drill bit designs were developed to provided a more consistent
product with consistent performance. A test matrix for the final core bit testing program
. TerraTek concluded small-scale cutting performance tests.
. Analysis of Phase 1 data indicated that there is decreased specific energy as the rotational
. Technology transfer, as part of Phase 1, was accomplished with technical presentations to
the industry (see Judzis, Boucher, McCammon, and Black).
* TerraTek prepared a design concept for the high speed drilling test stand, which was
planned around the proposed high speed mud motor concept. Alternative drives for the
test stand were explored; a high speed hydraulic motor concept was finally used.
* The high speed system was modified to accommodate larger drill bits than originally
* Prototype mud turbine motors and the high speed test stand were used to drive the drill
bits at high speed.
* Three different rock types were used during the testing: Sierra White granite, Crab
Orchard sandstone, and Colton sandstone. The drill bits used included diamond
impregnated bits, a polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bit, a thermally stable PDC
(TSP) bit, and a hybrid TSP and natural diamond bit.
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TerraTek, A Schlumberger Company. Smaller Footprint Drilling System for Deep and Hard Rock Environments; Feasibility of Ultra-High-Speed Diamond Drilling, report, December 31, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc833694/m1/3/: accessed February 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.