Precise Drilling Components Ltd. (PDC) was founded in Calgary, Alberta in April 2001 as a fixed-cutter drill bit supplier to western Canada’s oil and natural gas sector by Cody D. Graham with the support and help of his best friend – now his wife – Julie Graham.

The idea for PDC was conceived when Cody purchased six custom bits, designed by a Texas inventor, from a supplier who no longer wanted them. Initially PDC had the specialty bits produced to spec by Ontario manufacturers. The company soon began modifying and improving the bits it supplied, and then progressed into custom in-house design and manufacturing. Sales soon expanded from western Canada to international markets including Nigeria, Egypt and Sudan.

In 2004 PDC began purchasing its own computer numerical control (CNC) driven machine tools and moved into a 10,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in southeast Calgary. Initially PDC focused on relatively standard bits for straightforward applications, particularly in shallow gas drilling, supplying a mix of in-house bits and tri-cone bits from GT Engineering, Inc. in Oklahoma.

Demand grew and the company increased its lineup of custom-designed and third-party drill bits. PDC gained a reputation for building the industry’s fastest bits. In 2004, a PDC S446L bit, operated by Greg Sawatzky, set an industry shallow gas record, drilling 547 metres in 45 minutes via coiled tubing.

As western Canada’s oil and natural gas industry focused increasingly on deeper, more technical drilling, and shallow gas drilling declined in response to lower gas prices beginning in 2008, PDC worked to reposition into new markets. By 2009 the company had sold all of its shallow drill bits while designing new bits for deeper, more technical work, with a particular focus on international drilling projects.

Around this time the PDC team also began looking for opportunities in the hole-opener business. Nobody was building a fast, large-diameter, fixed-cutter hole-opener, and PDC began researching the possibilities of being first to market with a product of this type. In the summer of 2009 a customer offered PDC a unique opportunity: it would pay the operating and repair costs to test a prototype hole opener, if PDC would design, manufacture and supply the tool.

The result, after a three-and-a-half-year cycle of testing, evaluation and modification, is the HydraMAX hole opener – the world’s fastest, biggest fixed-cutter hole opener.

In 2010 PDC launched another major project, initiating research, testing and development of its Torpedo lost circulation tool.

In 2012 PDC continued the controlled expansion of its capabilities with the addition of plate processing equipment, another large CNC-controlled machine and a robotic welding unit.

That same year, work was underway on a new generation of mud motors for the horizontal and directional drilling sector, with the objective being to roll out the world’s most powerful mud motor.

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