There was a time when the common assumption was that oil wells are characteristically vertical and drilling rigs only drill in one direction, i.e., downwards.
However, ongoing research and progress have led to the development of new techniques and tools that improve the accuracy and economic feasibility of directional drilling. But what exactly is directional drilling, what are its benefits, and why is it important? Let’s find out!
What Directional Drilling Is
Essentially, directional drilling is the technique of drilling non-vertical bores. It’s a technique that oil extraction companies use to gain access to underground oil reserves. Since most oil wells are placed above the reservoir, accessing them involves vertical drilling from the surface to the well.
However, directional drilling is done at non-vertical angles, even horizontal. Directional drilling begins in the vertical direction until the drill is 100m above the target. That’s when a hydraulic motor placed between the drill bit and the drill pipe is activated, which alters the direction of the drill bit.
Of course, that’s a simplified explanation to give you a basic understanding of how directional drilling differs from vertical drilling. In reality, there are many other additional instruments used to help navigate and determine drill bit direction.
Benefits of Directional Drilling
Directional drilling offers numerous benefits that make it such a lucrative technology on the oilfields. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.
The most significant benefit of directional drilling is that drillers can exploit multiple oil reservoirs using just a single well; this means increased productivity and reservoir pay zone. The increase in productivity is mainly because one horizontal well can recover a substantial amount of oil that would typically require multiple vertical wells.
Reduction in Costs
The increase in productivity also translates to a reduction in costs as directional drilling increases extraction efficiency. The overall decrease in costs is due to the fact that drilling companies can access multiple reservoirs using a single well.
Reduced Environmental Impact
Directional drilling not only reduces the overall cost but also limits the environmental impact of drilling. Since many oil companies are now making an effort to be more environmentally conscious, the reduced environmental impact of directional drilling can be a huge positive.
Why Directional Drilling Is Important
The increased efficiency and productivity, cost reduction, and reduced environmental impact make directional drilling very important. Although it’s been in use since the 1920s, oilfield directional drilling has seen recent advancements in technology, which has further contributed to its safety and accuracy.
True Shot LLC is leading the way when it comes to innovation in directional drilling completions, MWD systems, thru-tubing motors, and extended reach survey tools. With years of experience in the industry, True Shot offers innovative drilling solutions and services. Get in touch now to learn more.