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An operator in North Dakota’s Williston Basin was developing a lateral Three Forks well. Drill bit consumption was reducing performance, with 8 drill bits damaged on 14 previous wells. Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), had been using the BHGE 5-in. Xtreme eXtend motor with various bits with reasonable success but experienced moderate vibration levels, impacting measurement while drilling (MWD) reliability.

The BHGE team decided to use its new 5-⅛-in. Navi-Drill DuraMax™ motor with the BHGE Dynamus™ drill bit to reduce vibration and improve production and ROP. This proved to be a winning combination. The team completed the lateral section 2 days faster than with offset wells, a 40% improvement. This combination also helped to reduce the vibrations by 20% to help complete the section in a single run.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • Reduction in well production
  • High drill bit consumption
  • Excessive vibration levels


  • Drilled record 6-in. lateral
  • Vibrations dropped 20%
  • Drilling time cut by 2 days, a 40% improvement
  • ROP increased 35%