There was a time when it was assumed that oil wells are vertical by nature and that drilling rigs can and should only drill in the downward vertical direction. However, we now know that with the appropriate tools and techniques, we can improve the accuracy as well as the financial feasibility of the drilling operation.
But what is directional drilling, and what are its benefits and importance? Let’s take a look!
What is Directional Drilling?
In the simplest of terms, directional drilling involves the intentional deviation of the wellbore from the path it would naturally take. It allows drillers to drill non-vertical bores and is a commonly used technique today. Oil extraction companies exploit this technique to access underground oil reserves.
Although most oil wells are placed above the reservoir, vertical drilling is required to access them from the surface. However, directional drilling is done at non-vertical angles (sometimes even horizontal). Initially, it begins in the vertical direction, that is, until the drill is just 100 meters above the target.
Afterwards, a hydraulic motor, placed between the drill pipe and the drill bit, is activated, which then alters the drill bit’s direction as required. This is, of course, a simplified explanation to explain the basic principle of directional drilling. In reality, a lot of other instruments are used.
What are the Benefits of Directional Drilling?
As you can imagine from its working principle, directional drilling opens up many possibilities when it comes to drilling operations that are simply not possible with vertical drilling. Let’s take a look at the biggest benefits of directional drilling.
Increase in Productivity
When it comes to drilling operations, any technology that can help increase productivity is welcome. Directional drilling allows drillers to exploit multiple reservoirs with just a single well, increasing productivity as well as reservoir pay zone.
This increase in productivity is largely due to the fact that a single horizontal well can recover a significant amount of oil which would otherwise require multiple vertical wells.
Of course, directional drilling, by virtue of increasing productivity, i.e. requiring fewer wells for bigger pay zone, reduces the costs as well. Directional drilling increases extraction efficiency, and since companies access multiple reservoirs, the overall operation cost goes down.
Reduction in Environmental Impact
Directional drilling is not just great because it increases productivity and reduces costs, but it also limits the environmental impact of drilling.
There’s a recognition among oil companies to be more environmentally conscious, and the reduced environmental impact of directional drilling is a huge positive.
Why Is Directional Drilling Important?
Given the benefits, such as increased efficiency and productivity, reduction in operation cost, and lesser environmental impact, directional drilling is hugely significant. While it’s been in use since the 1920s, the recent technological advancements in oilfield directional drilling have further contributed to its efficacy by improving safety and accuracy.
True Shot LLC is an industry pioneer when it comes to innovation in directional drilling completions, MWD systems, thru-tubing motors, and extended reach survey tools. Combining years of experience in the industry and technical expertise, True Shot offers innovative drilling solutions and services.
To learn more about how True Shot can help your drilling operation increase productivity and operation efficiency, get in touch now.