As tools in the oil and gas industry continually get smaller, one bit company has gone big. Varel International recently delivered the World's largest roller cone drill bit weighing in at 6,000 lbs with a massive 44-in. diameter. The specially commissioned drill bit was requested by Saudi Aramco to work drilling pilot holes in its Middle East operations. The massive steel-toothed roller cone is more than 22% larger in diameter than any previous bit. The bit uses an advanced cutting structure with optimized row placement, tooth spacing, and cutter geometry for increased drilling efficiency. Saudi Aramco plans to use the oversized roller cone for top-hole drilling. This single bit solution replaces the previous method, which required drilling a pilot hole and then re-drilling with a hole opening assembly. Bit runs are expected to range from 500 to 1,000 ft. The ultra-large diameter bit is expected to save the operator both time and money through a reduction of tripping and by eliminating the need for hole enlargement tools. The inaugural run of the 44-in. bit is scheduled for Q1 2011.
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