Particle Drilling Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: PDRT) has successfully completed the latest trial of its Particle Impact Drilling (PID) system, an innovative and patented drilling technology for penetrating hard-rock formations.
The Company conducted the trial in the Travis Peak formation located in East Texas, requiring it to drill through one of the hardest and most abrasive rock formations found anywhere in North America. This commercial trial allowed the Company to test several new advances to its PID system under rigorous conditions. For instance, it tested a newly constructed solids-processing and particle-storage unit and for the first time used a newly designed 8.5 inch diameter bit.
In another first, the Company drilled at depths below 12,500 feet -- its deepest drilling operation to date. Moreover, the PID system drilled a total of 343 feet of hard rock, nearly tripling the footage from previous trials. The system performed best on its initial run, drilling 212 feet in 12 hours of on-bottom drilling time, an industry term describing the amount of time that the PID bit was actually engaged on bottom and cutting through hard rock. Using this metric as a reference, Particle Drilling Technologies estimates that its productive-drilling-time, or PDT, on this particular run was 50 percent of the total available drilling time -- an improvement of more than 100 percent when compared to the company's first commercial trial and the best PDT performance achieved to date.
The Company credits this increase in PDT to improvements incorporated in the newly designed surface-equipment package that runs the PID system. Moreover, it believes that a new injection system currently in development will substantially reduce the amount of interruptions to the drilling process, yielding a much higher PDT. The company stresses that most of the interruptions it experienced during the trial were tied to maintaining consistent and durable operation of the frac-pump powered injection system.
During this trial, conventional bit runs before and after the initial PID bit run provided relevant comparable rate-of-penetration data. The conventional bit drilling just prior to the initial PID-system run was drilling at 4 feet per hour, whereas the conventional bit drilling immediately following the initial PID-system run was drilling at approximately 8.4 feet per hour. This compares to the 17+ feet per hour rate-of-penetration achieved by the PID system on its initial run and once again confirms the substantial rate-of-penetration improvement for the PID system.
The Company is now focused on completing the development of its new injector system and further improving PDT as the priorities for the next commercial trial. In addition, enhancements to the 8.5 inch PID bit will be incorporated to improve the cutting pattern and rock removal to further improve rate-of-penetration performance.
"This trial once again confirmed the PID system's superior rate-of- penetration, even in one of the industry's most challenging formations," said Jim Terry, president and chief executive officer, Particle Drilling Technologies. "More importantly, the trial demonstrates that we are continuing to improve our performance on a well-to-well basis despite running a new package of surface equipment, integrating with a different drilling rig and utilizing a newly designed PID bit in the larger 8 1/2" size. "
Terry credits Particle Drilling Technologies' engineering and operations team for the successful trial, claiming that the team's hard work allowed the PID system to function well in a new rock formation at significant depth.
He also points out that several upcoming improvements to the PID system will help the company realize the full potential of its new technology: "Our drilling efficiency continues to improve and we will now focus on getting an operational injector replacement as soon as possible, and will proceed with the next commercial trial when that effort is complete."
On the commercialization front, Terry indicated that the Company is working with a growing number of oil and gas companies to evaluate their target applications. He expects to establish additional contracts with a group of early adopters, thus providing a solid foundation for rapid growth once the PID system is fully commercialized.
About Particle Drilling Technologies, Inc.
Particle Drilling Technologies, Inc. is a development-stage oilfield service and technology company commercializing its patented and patent-pending Particle Impact Drilling system. The company's technology is designed to enhance the rate-of-penetration function in the drilling process, particularly in hard-rock environments. It is headquartered in Houston, Texas. For more information, visit: http://www.particledrilling.com .
Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements in this press release that are not historical but are forward-looking are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause PDTI's actual results in future periods to be materially different from any future performance that may be suggested in this press release. Such risks and uncertainties may include, but are not limited to, PDTI's need to raise equity capital and its ability to obtain equity financing on acceptable terms, if at all, a severe worldwide slowdown in the energy services sector and working capital constraints. Further, PDTI is a development stage company that operates in an industry sector where securities values are highly volatile and may be influenced by economic and other factors beyond PDTI's control such as announcements by competitors and service providers.
Contacts: J. Chris Boswell, SVP & CFO
Particle Drilling Technologies, Inc.
713-223-3031 ext. 2085
Ken Dennard, Managing Partner
Jack Lascar, Partner
DRG&E / 713-529-6600