Unveiling the StingBlade


“In the continuous drive for increasing efficiency and lowering costs while drilling, our customers expect that each section is drilled from shoe to total depth with one drill bit at a high rate of penetration,” explained Malcolm Theobald, President at Bits & Advanced Technologies, Schlumberger. It seems as though this need for efficiency has finally been met as the new and innovative StingBlade was unveiled at the ATCE conference in the Netherlands in October…

A leading supplier of innovative technology and solutions to customers across the world in the oil and gas industry, Schlumberger places knowledge, technical innovations and teamwork at the centre of its company which has shown exponential success for more than 80 years.

With principal offices in Paris, Houston, London and The Hague, Schlumberger had reported revenues from continuing operations of US$45.27 billion in 2013.

Employing 126,000 people and representing 140 nationalities, Schlumberger currently operates in more than 85 countries. With 125 research and engineering (R&E) facilities across the world, the company invested an estimated US$1.17 billion in R&E last year alone.

Offering real-time technology services and advanced solutions to its clients, Schlumberger helps customers to translate the data they acquire into useful and beneficial information. Using this knowledge, customers are then able to improve efficiency and enhance productivity of the company.

The use of this advanced technology helps to anticipate the changing needs of customers and provide knowledge and solutions before it is needed.

Perhaps one of the most innovative technological solutions the company has produced came onto the oil and gas radar at the end of October from its subsidiary company, Smith Bits, as it unveiled the StingBlade conical diamond element at the ATCE conference.

The StingBlade element bit has been developed to help increase the run length and rate of penetration (ROP). The StingBlade bits use Stinger conical diamond elements which are placed across the bit face and due to the conical shape of the elements, the improved impact and wear resistance helps to induce high point loading on the formation. This, in turn, helps to increase run lengths and higher sustained rates of penetration. The new design also delivers improved steering responses in directional applications.

At the unveiling, President at Bits & Advanced Technologies, Schlumberger, Malcolm Theobald said in a statement: “In the continuous drive for increasing efficiency and lowering costs while drilling, our customers expect that each section is drilled from shoe to total depth with one drill bit at a high rate of penetration. StingBlade bits have greater durability in hard and inter-bedded formations when compared to conventional PDC bits, enabling an increase in the frequency of drilling an entire section with one drill bit.”

Successfully tested in more than 300 wells, both onshore and offshore, more than 686,000ft has been drilled to date worldwide in applications including North, Central and South America, Europe and the North Sea, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, Southeast Asia and Australia.

With a faster rate of penetration, the StingBlade bits are placed much more competitively in the industry compared to a drilling tool that uses polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC). While these are effective at drilling shale formations, especially when used in combination with oil-base muds, they can create reactive torque, sending the bottomhole assembly (BHA) off its intended trajectory. This excessive vibration can then lead to the increase in the odds of additional trips, part repair and non-productive times.

Smith Bits’ new innovative design however uses a continuous scraping motion and allows energy to be streamlined, reducing the possibility of liability that comes with vibration downhole by redirecting energy away from vibration and into cutting bedrock. This strategic redirection process will now allow for a much faster and more efficient drilling time compared with a traditional PDC bit.

A field trial of the StingBlade bit was conducted in the offshore Browse Basin in Australia, using it to drill a 12 ¼ inch vertical section through a formation known to cause premature impact damage to the conventionally used PDC bits. Impressively, the StingBlade exceeded expectations, increasing interval length by 97% and rate of penetration by 57%, as well as saving the client more than five days of drilling time.

In another trial conducted in South Texas, two curves were drilled in identical conditions to compare the steerability of a conventional PDC bit to a StingBlade bit. The new StingBlade bit achieved 23% higher build rates with less torque and toolface angle variation, which in turn helps to reduce the corrections needed by directional drillers enabling them to stay on target.

With a multitude of technology centres worldwide, Schlumberger maintains the service industry’s longest commitment to technology and innovation. The company’s advanced tool and products are now used on a global scale and continue to be designed, built and tested to the highest standards to meet the client’s exact needs. With a range of variable applications from standard low-temperature sweet wells with normal pressure to the most hostile well environments, the industry has been looking for quicker rates of penetration, more efficiency with less money spent on drilling. With this in mind then, it looks as though the StingBlade will be taking the oil and gas industry by storm in the coming years.


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