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‘Revolutionary process’ patented


Encore Bits LLC, a privately held company providing innovative PDC drill bits for the oil & gas industry, announced it received a patent for a revolutionary process designed to selectively leach PDC cutters.

The patented Encore Bits process involves coating the entire PDC cutter with an acid resistant film and removing the film from portions of the cutter where leaching is preferred. The cutter is then bathed in acid to remove the cobalt-catalyzing material.

"The leaching process was invented to make the drill bit cutters more resistant to wear, but leaching the entire cutter face made it more susceptible to dynamic loading," said Jim Shamburger, Director of Engineering, Encore Bits.

"The new patented process invented by Encore allows us to only leach the drilling edge of the cutter. This gives the cutter the best of both worlds – a wear-resistant edge where the cutter is doing the work, along with a more impact-resistant cutter face."

The patent (No. 7,712,553) was issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on May 11, 2010. The patent scope includes the United States and PCT countries. Encore plans to fieldtest the drill bits with the new, patented technology by the third quarter of 2010. From there, the technology will be integrated into its existing product lines.

Encore bit designs run the full spectrum, from gumbo drilling fishtail designs proven in the Gulf of Mexico to ultra-tough bits designed to drill the abrasive sandstones and dolomites of the Middle East. The company is best known for its exclusive SideWinder PDC bit, which provides maximum directional response on steerable motors and rotary steerable systems.

Encore provides drill bits for projects in the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and West Africa.