The need to exploit new and difficult to access oil and gas reserves often involves overcoming multiple and harder rock formations at considerable depths. This requires new drilling methods and drill bits in order to decrease the risk of failure and destruction in the borehole and increase wear resistance.
Essentially there are two different drill bits used in the petrochemical sector, tri-cone bits and polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits. Tri-cone bits comprise of three conical rollers with teeth arranged at an angle to each other and are used for drilling through soft and semi-hard rock. PDC bits have no moving parts and use diamond, ceramic or cemented carbide (hardmetal) inserts to cut through the harder rock formations.
Global Tungsten Powders (GTP), a Plansee Group company based in Towanda, USA, has for a number of years supplied manufacturers of traditional tri-cone drill bits with its ready to press tungsten and tungsten carbide powders. Working together with manufacturers of PDC bits, GTP has recently invested heavily in developing new tungsten grade powders specifically for use in demanding PDC drill bit applications.
Investments have been made in new production facilities and equipment, analysis and quality equipment and manufacturing systems. Process optimisation continues to ensure constant powder quality and minimisation of waste and costs, states GTP.