Shale Boom in the U.S. Drives Sales of Drill Bits for Natural Gas Exploration

Published By : 21 Mar 2016 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

In oil and gas drilling activities, the drill string column is loosely used to denote the collection of drill pipe, tools, drill collars, and drill bit. On a drilling rig, it is the drill string that transmits drilling fluid and torque to the drill bit. In this column, it is the drill bit that actually pierces into the rock that contains the substance of high value. 

Drill bits are fabricated of one of the hardest materials such as steel, tungsten carbide, and or natural diamonds. It is a rotating apparatus containing two or three cones and sharp teeth that cuts into the rock and sediment at the bottom of reservoir wells. Drill bits have been consistently advancing in the material, design, and technology for these tools, the reasons for steadfast growt of the drill bits market for oil and gas applications. Across the world, increasing oil and gas exploration activities for offshore drilling, shale gas, etc. is also exhibiting demand for drill bits.

Fixed cutter and roller cone are the main types of drill bits. In terms of composition, the inserts in rolling cone bits are either tungsten carbide or milled-tooth. Alternately, the composition of fixed cutter bits involves either natural diamond or cutters made of polycrystalline diamond. Fixed cutter bits are gaining adoption due to their high efficiency and durability factors for recovering oil that is trapped in rock formations. In particular, cutters made of polycrystalline diamond are useful for enhancing drilling operations and penetration rate in abrasive rock formations.

Nevertheless, drill bits that are technologically advanced have a high cost factor attached to these tools. Thus, these tools are beyond the capacity of small scale miners, which affects the overall operation cost. Irrespective of this, the usage of drill bits is dependent on the actual cost and benefit ratio of these products. Commonly, drilling activities that are at depths of 3000 meters and above or those carried out on hard/abrasive surfaces use polycrystalline diamond cutters for this purpose. Thus, for these operations, polycrystalline diamond cutters are used to reduce the drilling time and to minimize incessant breaks imminent for the repair/ replacement of these tools.

In the U.S., the shale gas boom has stimulated bulk production of natural gas for energy needs. This is driving large demand for drill bits in the country.

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