What to Know About Directional Drilling Work

September 30, 2021 6:19 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Directional drilling refers to drilling methods that do not go straight down into the earth. Instead, the driller uses specific equipment and techniques that allow them to drill directionally at a certain angle or even at a flat level.

Various directional drilling techniques are used as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods, as they can significantly increase the yield of a well. They are also used for drilling out utilities and attempting to access underground resources and structures.

What equipment is used for directional drilling?

Here’s a quick overview of equipment commonly used for directional drilling jobs:

  • Special drill bits: Various specialized drill bits are used for the job to improve the performance of the drilling process and to reduce potential failure. The conditions of horizontal drilling are different than those of vertical drilling, so the bits must match those conditions.
  • Mud motors: Steerable mud motors are placed close to the drill bit. At a certain depth, the drill string will stop rotating, at which point drilling fluid gets pumped into the mud motor to keep the bit turning with the force of the liquid. The pressure forces the bit into a different angle. When sensors on the machinery indicate the bit is pointing in the proper direction, the drill string can then start turning once again.
  • Multi-shot cameras: Inside the drill string there are multiple cameras designed to take regular timelapse pictures that are sent to the surface control team to help verify location.
  • Rotary steerable systems: Rotary steerable systems are capable of simultaneous drilling and steering. With such a system, drilling teams can gain access to underground formations that may have previously been inaccessible.
  • Custom whipstocks: Specially designed whipstocks for directional drilling to not need to be removed between drilling jobs, which means teams can spend more time on the actual drilling work and less time on removing the bit and whipstock.
  • Button hole assembly: These feature a bent configuration that allows them to make turns with physical manipulation.
  • Networked/wired pipe: Drilling systems that are wired and networked can transmit data in real time from the sensors to the surface.

Why directional drilling?

Directional drilling allows for multiple down holes to be drilled from the same rig, which significantly cuts down on both potential disturbance at the surface level as well as potential impact on the environment.

The boreholes for directional drilling can go up to a mile down, and more than five miles when taking shallower angles. This is extremely useful in a variety of settings, especially the oil and gas industry, where drilling teams can tap a very large radius without having to create substantial surface disturbances.

For installation of underground utilities, this type of drilling and trenching allows teams to install water and sewer lines, underground power lines and more without having to dig up the ground all along where the line will be located.

Interested in learning more about our directional drilling and trenching services at Es7 Comm-2 U, Inc.? We encourage you to reach out to our team with any questions you have.

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