Key Papers To Unlock Drilling Performance, ep.5

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SPE-134580-PA-Borehole Qualitiy Design and Practices

This paper discusses three major types of borehole limiters within the Limiter Redesign Workflow.

They are called limiters because at some point they’re “limiting the ability to apply greater weight on bit (WOB)”.

They are also “non-bit” limiters because in these situations, the bit is cutting efficiently and the MSE is low and uniform. Yet some risks are preventing the rig team from going faster, e.g. packoff, lost returns, etc.

Here’s the three categories:

  1. Borehole-Stability Performance Limiters
  2. Hole-Cleaning Performance Limiters
  3. Vibrationally Induced Borehole Pattern Limiters

But which one do I need to work on first, and when? You may ask.

That is the beauty of Limiter Redesign Workflow. With the linear response model based on bit mechanics (how bits drill), all limiters will fall on a straight line, i.e. the efficiency zone of the drill off curve.


It does not differentiate bit or non-bit limiters and it always focuses your energy and resources on the most pressing issue in you drilling performance.

The paper discusses in details the physics of each category of limiters and the new practices and necessary redesign to remove them. Many of these new practices and redesign work challenge the commonly accepted practices in our industry.

You will get fresh and bold insights about borehole quality and how it impacts the drill rate performance.

I plan to unpack the many technical points in other articles. If there’s some topics that you are especially interested to see, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email.

You can download the paper here on, it’s worth way more than the 5$ charged.

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