Directional Drilling in Cold Weather

January 6, 2022 10:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Just because winter has arrived doesn’t mean you can put important projects on hold. That said, cold-weather boring services are a bit trickier during the cold weather. There are specific considerations that contractors need to take into account to get the job done.

Read on to find out more about directional drilling when the temperatures plummet.

The right equipment for the job

Directional drilling contractors need specific equipment when they need to deal with frozen ground. Powerful drilling machines should be equipped with carbide-tipped blades and shoes for the necessary bite and pull for when the drill’s operator guides the drill into frozen soil, rock, sand or clay. It’s also possible to use dirt bits to accomplish the job.

A trained support team will be on hand to monitor the drill head’s progress, telling the drill operator the depth, pitch and speed necessary. The drill string may also be an issue. This is because it takes a beating when it goes into the ground, leading to binding problems. Regularly changing out the drill string’s lead rod is critical in cold weather conditions.

Planning for directional drilling in the winter

When planning for the job, contractors will take a bit more time in devising a plan of action. The logistics and mobilization of specialized equipment is more complex than the average job once the temperatures reach freezing. That said, directional drilling can be completed during any time of year.

The role of lubrication

Lubrication is particularly important for cold-weather boring services as well. Contractors must make certain to use the correct metalworking fluid. This includes thread lube, drill fluids and antifreeze. Any freezing will result in the fluid thickening and becoming sludgy, which could bring work to a halt. Even if that doesn’t happen, freezing fluids will slow down performance and delay production.

Specialized arctic-grade lubrication fluids are ideal for jobs that will take place in subzero temperatures. These fluids should be stored in a heated area to prevent freezing.

More tips for winter directional drilling

  • Drill rigs need to be equipped with block heaters in the event of extreme cold. At -15°C, most rig engines won’t start.
  • Mud pumps must be defrosted with antifreeze fluids during any break in work. Once the temperatures reach that -15°F threshold, it only takes 10 minutes for the pump to freeze. Ignore this for too long and it could result in repairs that cost tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Drill support trucks must have insulation as well as a diesel or electric heater. When using diesel heaters, ensure there’s enough fuel supply to last 72 hours, or connect it to the trick fuel tanks before parking for the weekend.

Do you need to hire high-quality directional drilling contractors? Then turn to the experts at Es7 Comm-2 U, Inc. We have a long track record of keeping residential and commercial customers satisfied. We’re a state-licensed, bonded and insured company that will get the job done right. Contact us now for more information.

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