Understanding Directional Drilling

Directional drilling is a type of drilling into non-vertical oil wells. It involves having control over the deviation and direction of a well. Vertical drilling involves drilling straight down, whereas directional drilling uses angles to drill. With these angles directional drilling reaches reservoirs in a different way than vertical drilling and this can be very valuable. Directional drilling has many advantages over other methods, such as standard vertical wells, in terms of environmental remediation projects and productivity.

There are a few main group and types of directional drilling.

  • Oilfield¬†Directional Drilling
  • Horizontal Directional Drilling
  • Directional Boring
  • Surface in Seam (SIS)

There are many energy companies that are using directional drilling in areas, such as the Appalachian Basin and North Dakota. For example, Cunningham Energy (@Cunningham_Eng), based in the Appalachian Basin, is currently working on a directional drilling project in West Virginia for 2015.

There are a few reasons why a company might pursue and utilize directional drilling to drill in non-vertical wells.

  1. Directional drilling can be more efficient than other methods. It can reach areas and targets that vertical drilling cannot and can improve the productivity of a well. Directional Drilling can drain more from one drilling pad. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas found that this method helps to reduce the footprint of natural gas development.
  2. Directional drilling can be safer for the environment.  Directional Drilling also minimizes the amount of waste. This is one reason why directional borings have the least environmental impact of any other method.
  3. Directional drilling can be less environmentally disruptive. Directional wells can activate a site with little to no disruption and thus decreases the amount of surface disturbance.

Some people and companies believe the directional drilling is a great way to positively utilize technology to mitigate the effects on the environment and the benefits it can have for the global economy.

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