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Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), has been consistently drilling “mile-a-day” wells in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. From 2015 to the end of August 2018, BHGE has drilled more than 200 wells in the Northeast US where the footage drilled exceeded a mile (5,280 ft) in less than one 24-hour period.

HG Energy II Appalachia, enlisted BHGE to help reduce their days on well and quickly achieve peak drilling performance—maximizing rates of penetration (ROP) while still achieving smooth, high-quality wellbores. Working with the HG Energy II Appalachia team, BHGE proposed a drilling solution that minimized nonproductive time (NPT) and significantly accelerated drilling speed and efficiency.

The BHGE solution paired an AutoTrak™ Curve rotary steerable service (RSS) with the Navi-Drill™ Ultra™ XL45 high-performance drilling motor and a customized 8½-in. Talon™ Force high-velocity PDC drill bit. The team selected the AutoTrak Curve RSS based on its ability to consistently drill accurate, smooth wellbores that simplify casing runs. Adding the XL45 motor increased torque and RPM at the bit to optimize drilling performance. The high-velocity drill bit, which incorporated StayTrue™ shaped diamond element technology, helped to mitigate lateral vibrations and bit whirl. StayTrue technology leverages a unique chisel shape and an engineered cutter placement that eliminates the operator’s need to sacrifice bit life in order to gain drilling speed.

Working closely with the customer, BHGE set a single target inclination for the AutoTrak RSS to hold throughout the run—effectively reducing the downlinks needed to stay in zone enabling a more sustainable, consistent pace.

Remote reservoir navigation services assisted HG Energy II Appalachia’s geology team to keep the well in the target zone and achieved 100% net-to-gross across the entire lateral.

Extensive pre-planning, pre-pad meetings and leveraging night remote measurement-while-drilling (MWD) support helped to maximize operational efficiency.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • Reduce overall drilling days and costs
  • Create smoother wellbores and simplify casing runs
  • Stay in target zone
  • Accelerate the customer’s learning curve in the region


  • Integrated drilling system drilled a world record 9,055 ft in 24 hours
  • Stayed in the target zone through 100% of the lateral
  • Saved 1.86 days drilling the curve and lateral
  • Reduced drilling costs approximately 35%