Drilled to perfection
Despite representing a very small fraction of the overall well and drilling costs, the correct, and optimum drill bit and associated equipment can have a comprehensive impact on the efficiency, effectiveness and cost of an entire drilling operation.
Smith Technologies is one of the world’s leading suppliers of innovative, state-of-the-art drill bit technology and associated products, through its various operating divisions.
The company provides an extremely vast range of products and services, including drilling bits, turbines, and polycrystalline diamonds, to key customers throughout the energy and manufacturing industries. Smith Technologies carries out its business through a number of operating units, including Smith Bits and Sii Neyrfor, which are leaders in their respective fields.
“Smith Technologies is a leading supplier of products and services to the energy sector, predominantly supplying solutions for drilling in the oil and gas market,” says Keith Gaskin, UK & Ireland district manager at the business. “We provide a broad range of products and services, including drill bits, turbines and special drilling tools. One of our key strengths is our vast industry experience, and the multi-disciplined background of our employees. Our team is extremely experienced in our own products and their applications, and has a very strong fundamental knowledge of the drilling industry.
“Our products and services are used by major clients throughout the energy sector, including Chevron, Nexen and Shell,” Keith continues. “Customer service is vital to our continued success, and we predominantly provide bespoke solutions to suit individual customer requirements. Our clients are involved in the development process, providing us with numerous ideas for solutions and product lines. Throughout the entire process it is vital that we have good interaction with our customers, and always get a lot of feedback.”
The various operating units within Smith Technologies are leaders in their market sectors: “Our different divisions include Smith Bits and Sii Neyrfor,” says Keith. “We have a joint sales team for applications and solutions, and we have very experienced specialists in drill bits and turbines within Smith Technologies. We are extremely lucky to have a multi-talented team that is skilled in every possible area.”
Smith Bits is a global leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of innovative, market-leading drill bits, and for many years has maintained a deep commitment to research and development, resulting in continuous advances in product performance. Throughout its history Smith Bits has continued to set industry standards with its products, and development programmes. For example, it has been the world record leader in all roller cone and fixed cutter bit sectors for seven consecutive years.
In addition, Smith Bits has been recognised as the World Drill Bit record leader for eight consecutive years, confirming its position as a true industry leader, and demonstrating the continuous efforts of the business to develop the most technologically advanced drill bits in the world. Keith elaborates: “For the eighth year we are the holder of the World Drill Bit record, which proves that we are continuously improving our technology. It means that we can consider ourselves ahead of the competition in terms of performance, cost-per-foot, and reliability.”
Sii Neyrfor is the world’s leading manufacturer of turbines, which are placed directly above the drill bit, and use hydraulic energy to rotate the drill bit. Neyrfor turbodrills provide customers with considerable cost savings, by offering faster rates of penetration, longer downhole life, and better wellbore quality.
For many years Smith Technologies has been an industry leader, setting the trend for many of the latest developments: “R&D is a major factor in our success, allowing us to continuously develop and improve our products and services, and ensuring that we can offer a vast range of sizes and types throughout our product catalogue,” Keith explains. “The selection that we can offer the industry is unbelievable, and we continuously develop new solutions to help our customers improve their performance.”
Keith elaborates on the company’s most recent development: “We have recently launched our new Integrated Dynamic Engineering Analysis System (IDEAS), which allows us to visualise what is actually happening in the drill hole, and with the drill bit, with a computer based simulator that has been lab tested extensively,” says Keith. “It is on the market now, and it has been received extremely well and gained some outstanding results. Our aim is to now try to convince more customers of the benefits of the system, to enable them to get better results in their processes.”
Currently the industry’s most advanced and accurate engineering design system, IDEAS provides a revolutionary step forward in truly understanding the dynamics of the rock/cutter interface. It is a highly sophisticated modelling technology and simulation package, which allows drill bit designers to certify new designs, and validate the operating parameters, without the traditional trial and error processes, and can be applied to both roller cone and fixed cutter bits.
Keith elaborates on the importance of health and safety throughout the company’s operations: “It is a key issue for us, and we stress the importance of it throughout the business at all times. We have a zero accident rate at present, and a very good safety record. We have an HSE team in-house that deals with all of our health and safety issues, and ensures that we stay up-todate with the latest industry legislations.”
The current state of the industry means that Keith is confident that Smith Technologies can maintain its reputation as one of the industry’s leading supplies of products and services for efficient and effective drilling: “The industry is very buoyant at the moment, and we hope to sustain our business in the UK for many years, whilst trying to enter new markets. We are continuously in conversation with our other divisions around the world to keep abreast of developments in their sectors.
“The main challenge will be to continue to provide the best services, whilst attracting new customers that are consistently entering the market. However, we are increasingly gaining market share by supplying excellent products and services to all of our clients, and we are confident that we can continue this,” Keith concludes.