Everything You Need to Know About Directional Drilling

September 14, 2020

Various drilling activities are needed for a wide variety of trenching and boring applications. One of these activities is directional drilling. Conventional drilling usually pertains to the drilling in a straight line. However, with the presence of modern equipment and contemporary drilling methods, drilling can now have directional changes that are based on the needs of a project.

What is directional drilling?

Directional drilling, which is also known as slant drilling, is a drilling method that controls the deviation and direction of a wellbore or hole according to the predetermined underground location target. This type of drilling method allows the oil and gas industry to drill and subsequently obtain numerous wells from one vertical wellbore, which helps minimise any damaging impact on the environment. As for pipe and utility installation, directional drilling veers away from the traditional costs and processes in traditional drilling.

As previously stated, conventional drilling typically drills in one straight line. While directional drilling can also drill in a straight line, it must deviate the drilling direction from time to time so that it can avoid any geological formation or previous stuck pipe. Various side-tracking techniques are carried out to perform directional drilling optimally.

How directional drilling is carried out?

Directional drilling can be carried out in numerous ways. First, it can be done in a straight horizontal line by positioning the drill in the desired direction and operating it in a straight line.

Alternatively, if the well does not go in a straight line, then the direction of the drilling may need to be altered a little bit. Numerous wells begin as vertical wells before switching their directions once they go further. With this type of setup, a hydraulic motor must be installed between the drill bit and the drill pipe so that it can easily change the direction of the bit. The same motor can rotate the bit without rotating the pipe, allowing it to drill in a non-vertical direction.

On the other hand, drilling wells that have a curve would require the use of a drill with a bend. The use of this specific drill can easily direct the drilling operation in the right direction.

All these drill operations are guided by a wide variety of modern mapping and steering technologies.

Why directional drilling is important?

There are tons of reasons why directional drilling is significant for certain industries. First, directional drilling can minimise surface disturbance and environmental impact since it can drill multiple deep boreholes from one rig. And since it only requires one rig to perform drilling operations, then one can expect lower operational costs throughout the project.

Direction drilling is also important since it utilises durable tough materials, preventing any damage during the installation process of pipes. The accuracy of directional drilling likewise allows pipes and utilities to be buried safely and appropriately without compromising their quality.

This type of drilling likewise allows operators to effectively install pipes and utility lines without disrupting the landscaping and the environment. Rigs that are commonly used with this type of drilling can extend boreholes for up to a mile down and five more miles at shallower angles. So, even if these lines are intended to be installed under a road or a river, then one can still expect great results.

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