October 6, 2012
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Home / Issue Archive / 2012 / July - August #7 / Varel International and NewTech Services Open New PDC Drill Bits Plant

№ 7 (July - August 2012)

Varel International and NewTech Services Open New PDC Drill Bits Plant

Varel International and NewTech Services have opened a Polycrystalline Diamond (PDC) Drill Bit manufacturing plant in Kurgan, Russia. The Varel-NTS plant is a joint venture between the two companies.

By Lada Ponomareva

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The new facility was built to produce 2,400 bits a year, but, as Varel International Vice President of Eastern Hemisphere Operations Bernard Pontneau noted during the ribbon-cutting ceremony in Kurgan, actual volume will depend on the number of clients the new enterprise can attract and the size of their orders.

Company reps said that the Varel-NTS plant unites the American company's high-quality technologies engineering capabilities and global experience with the understanding NewTech Services has of the Russian market as well as its reputation as a quality provider of oil services.

Varel specialists outfitted the new plant with modern machine-tooling stations, production technologies and equipment for manufacturing PDC drill bits.

“In this first phase of the venture, Varel has provided support through the transfer of our proven, reputable technology", Pontneau said, “The plant’s key personnel have been trained at our manufacturing facilities in France. In addition to our commitment to establishing the physical manufacturing equipment and technology, we are providing ongoing administrative and technology”.

A total of $15 million was invested the enterprise.  

Under the agreement which the companies signed in the spring of last year, Varel International will co-ordinate production at the plant, while NewTech Services will be responsible for working directly with clients.

Varel CIS Regional Manager Thomas Seeney said that the location of the plant will allow the company to deliver goods to clients effectively while rapidly responding to their immediate needs.

Varel-NTS drill bits have been designed for all kinds of drilling and work conditions. The Kurgan plant will manufacture the following products:

Navigator drill bits for directional drilling;
Tough-Drill bits for hard rock;
Diamond Edge bits for hard and variable rock;
VB Series bits for increased drilling speed and equipment stability; and
Bicenter bits for enlarging well bores in all types of PDC-drillable formations.

The diamond bit inserts on Varel-NTS bits are made to order for each individual client using innovative technologies to ensure optimum performance. Varel has also patented two ways of testing PDS drill bit insets:
The Acoustical Emissions Toughness Test (AETT), which quantitatively assesses the strength of the diamond-to-diamond bonding; and the Bimodal Abrasive Rock Test (BART), which measure a cutter's abrasion resistance during drilling.

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