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How to Cut Drilling Costs by Breaking Friction Accurately


As operators continue to push the limits of oil well drilling capabilities in extreme conditions, delays become even more costly. Cougar has developed a system that utilizes a combination of tools, which we optimize for your well and conditions, to maximize drilling effectiveness and reduce friction.

The Cougar LEX, an axial oscillating tool, increases the sliding rate of penetration and maximizes effective weight transfer, while the Mechanical Thruster reduces shock and vibration.

Together, they allow you to complete a well in fewer runs, minimizing drilling costs.

Benefits of an Axial Oscillating Tool

As operators drill longer laterals, keeping pipe moving to bottom becomes more challenging, and effective weight on bit can be degraded by hole friction. The LEX axial oscillating tool resolves this problem. It creates a consistent axial pulse across the drill string, moving energy to the bottom hole assembly and bit.

How the LEX Tool Works

When fluid is pumped through the power section, it rotates the valve. When the valve (or other pressure creating device) rotates, it creates a pressure pulse. The pressure pulse transmits up the tool and back to the shock sub. Then, that  pulse applies to the pump open area of the shock sub, extending the shock tool. When the pressure pulse ceases, the shock will then compress. 

These tools will run through this cycle multiple times per second, creating axial movement along the drill string.

LEX Tool Effectiveness in a Stiff String

In a stiff string when the shock attempts to extend, it must use pipe squat/stretch to move. This is only marginally effective at breaking friction and transferring weight. The stiffer the string, the less the shock can extend/compress. 

There is no point in the string to accept the axial motion from the shock tool. Therefore, the shock cannot effectively extend and compress. This minimizes effectiveness of any  axial oscillating tool.

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Applying the Mechanical Thruster to Your Lateral Assembly

When a Mechanical Thruster is applied above your bottom hole assembly, it introduces a second “soft point” that will cooperate with the movement from your axial operating tool/shock sub assembly. This allows the string between the two points to oscillate effectively, breaking friction and transferring more weight to your bit. 

By applying the Mechanical Thruster above the BHA, this section of string can effectively oscillate, breaking friction and allowing weight transfer to bit. The Mechanical Thruster absorbs vibrations before they're transmitted to the MWD tool, reducing the potential for damage and failure.

Why Use the LEX and Mechanical Thruster Together?

Running the LEX Tool and the Mechanical Thruster in conjunction allows the drill pipe between the two points to move in an axial motion. The LEX creates pulses, while the thruster accepts the motion and moves energy effectively to the bit. This protects the BHA and motor and keeps the bit engaged.


  • Achieve fewer runs
  • Minimize drilling dysfunction
  • Reduce drilling costs
  • Overall ROP increase
  • Sliding ROP increase
  • Differential consistency increase

Case Study

We worked with an operator to analyze their BHA and drilling objectives and optimized the LEX and Mechanical Thruster for their well. When they ran the LEX and the Mechanical Thruster together, they achieved a one-run curve and lateral. The project came in below budget and saved the operator additional costs from drilling dysfunction.

View the full case study.

Cougar Drilling Solutions

We bring our decades of experience in manufacturing and implementing oil well drilling tools to help you achieve your drilling goals.

You can count on Cougar Drilling Solutions to optimize tools for your well and decrease downtime. Contact us to learn how we can help you achieve drilling objectives in fewer runs and reduce drilling costs.

Client Reduces Trips With Mechanical Thruster to Save $142K Per Well
How the Mechanical Thruster Benefits a Rotary Steerable System | Cougar
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