Case Study – Delivering Improved Drilling Performance

Over the last 15 years, Aurora has worked with a multinational company to drive optimisation on their UK wells. We have helped deliver savings of over $25 million, thanks to our ‘blank canvas’ approach and the strategic introduction of our C3 durability and indexing software.

The challenge: what did our client need?

In today’s competitive environment, the oil and gas industry is under constant pressure to improve drilling performance and reduce costs. Given our long and successful history, our client turned to the team at Aurora for guidance on the next solution to further optimise their drilling performance and drive significant savings.

As with any project, we set out to develop a solution that would help our client achieve their goal of optimising drilling cycle time.

Finding the right drilling optimisation solution

We have an established relationship with the client, so we understood their operations and objectives. Together, we worked to outline a tailored solution to meet their specific needs, considering any unique challenges faced.

As part of our solution, we introduced the BE3 index model into a live operation. It made perfect sense as the BE3 index model works in conjunction with our C3 indexing software, enabling a complete analysis of the product cutting structure requirements.

What is the BE3 Index model?

The BE3 index model is designed to focus solely on the cutting structure efficiency of the fixed cutter bit.

The development of the BE3 software programme was prompted by a previous 2-well project, where, on paper, the client used the same drill bits in a certain section but reported very different outcomes. After analysing all the drilling data, we concluded that the performance reduction was purely bit-related. Based on this, we started developing a software programme that could provide a detailed insight into the efficiency of each individual bit.

Learn more about BE3

While C3 establishes durability, our proprietary efficiency indexing model, BE3, helps confirm the efficiency of the individual fixed cutter drill bits. Using this we can determine if a different fixed cutter drill bit could deliver AFE ROP improvements without changing the drilling system whilst on a small offshore rig where operating parameters were already at their limits.

*ROP = Rate of Penetration

“The Aurora team have proved once again their ability to drive continuous improvements for our operations. The introduction of the innovative BE3 indexing model has been a game-changer in terms of drilling performance and cost savings.”  

Drilling Superintendent

What did our BE3 index model look like in action?

After successfully drilling three wells on an 8-well development campaign, we introduced the BE3 efficiency indexing model for the client to use over the next five wells.

We requested new drill bit designs from the contracted vendors, and we ran the BE3 efficiency indexing model. The model suggested that a 6-10% ROP improvement would be possible under the existing conditions but using less WOB.

Based on the BE3 results, the client approved the new fixed cutter drill bit design initiation for a trial run on the 4th well. We identified the main risks of using a new fixed cutter drill bit design. Their ability to negatively affect rig time was mitigated through the deployment of fit-for-purpose solutions during the non-operational phase and not during the very expensive operations phase.

*WOB = Weight on Bit

How did our BE3 index model solve the client’s challenge?

The use of our BE3 and C3 efficiency and durability indexing models at the pre-well stage, increased the likelihood of achieving technical and economic targets without cost overruns during the execution phase.

The BE3 indexing model enabled us to identify the most efficient bit for every drilling operation, significantly improving overall drilling performance. We ensured accurate and risk-free predictions for operational performance gains for the client.

In sum, the introduction of the BE3 indexing model into the client’s drilling operations has proved continuous improvement in drilling cycles, saving project time, time needed from personnel, and money.

To discuss your current or planned drilling projects with us, send an email to We’ll be in touch.