Application in Directional Drilling Back to Articles

MWD Coach
Author: MWD Coach

Controlled directional drilling is the science of deviating a wellbore along a planned course to a subsurface target whose location is a given distance and direction from the vertical.

Directional applications include: Offshore Platforms, River Crossings, Inaccessible Locations, Relief Wells, Straight Hole Control, Sidetracking, Faults, Salt Domes, Multiple Target Zones, Extended Reach Wells and Horizontal Drilling. Every one of these applications requires some form of surveying in order to reach its objective.

Directional drilling has been an integral part of the oil and gas industry since the 1920s. While the technology has improved over the years, the concept of directional drilling remains the same: drilling wells at multiple angles, not just vertically, to better reach and produce oil and gas reserves. Additionally, directional drilling allows for multiple wells from the same vertical well bore, minimizing the wells' environmental impact.

Improvements in drilling sensors and global positioning technology have helped to make vast improvements in directional drilling technology. Today, the angle of a drill-bit is controlled with intense accuracy through real-time technologies, providing the industry with multiple solutions to drilling challenges, increasing efficiency and decreasing costs.

Now, from a single location, various wells can be drilled at a myriad of angles, tapping reserves miles away and more than a mile below the surface.

Many times, a non-vertical well is drilled by simply pointing the drill in the direction it needs to drill. A more complex way of directional drilling utilizes a bend near the bit, as well as a down-hole steerable mud motor. In this case, the bend directs the bit in a different direction from the wellbore axis when the entire drill string is not rotating, which is achieved by pumping drilling fluid through the mud motor. Then, once the angle is reached, the complete drill string is rotated, including the bend, ensuring the drill bit does not drill in a different direction from the wellbore axis.

One type of directional drilling, horizontal drilling, is used to drastically increase production. Here, a horizontal well is drilled across an oil and gas formation, increasing production by as much as 20 times more than that of its vertical counterpart. Horizontal drilling is any wellbore that exceeds 80 degrees, and it can even include more than a 90-degree angle (drilling upward).

Vist MWD Coach to the schedule of the next MWD training workshop.



directional drilling Illustration

© Copyright 2019. RigHands. All Rights Reserved