In the world of underground drilling, there are two methods traditionally used: directional drilling and horizontal drilling. While both approaches involve drilling into the ground, they do it differently and offer different benefits. Let’s look at the key differences between directional and horizontal drilling.
Directional Drilling Overview
Directional drilling is a technique used to change the direction of a wellbore from vertical to horizontal or any other angle. This method is typically used when the target formation is not directly beneath the drilling site or when obstacles such as existing infrastructure or environmentally sensitive areas need to be avoided. For example, directional drilling can be used to access reserves under a city, forest, or body of water.
Directional drilling involves using specialized equipment that allows the drilling operator to steer the drill bit in a specific direction while still maintaining control over the depth of the wellbore. This equipment includes downhole tools such as rotary steerable systems, mud motors, and whipstocks, among others. This method is especially useful for drilling multiple wells from a single drilling pad or accessing hard-to-reach deposits.
Horizontal Drilling Overview
Horizontal drilling, on the other hand, is a technique used to drill wells horizontally through a target formation. This method involves drilling a vertical wellbore to a specific depth and gradually turning the drill bit to drill horizontally through the target formation. Horizontal drilling is typically used to extract resources that are difficult to reach with conventional vertical drilling techniques.
Benefits of Directional Drilling
Directional drilling offers several benefits in addition to its ability to access hard-to-reach reserves. One of the primary benefits of directional drilling is that it allows drilling companies to drill multiple wells from a single drilling pad. Fewer drilling pads are needed to access the same amount of reserves when directional drilling, reducing the impact on the environment and surrounding communities.
Another benefit of directional drilling is that it can help to minimize the risk of drilling-related accidents and incidents. Directional drilling can be used to avoid drilling through sensitive areas such as fault lines, gas pockets, or underground water sources. Additionally, by steering the drill bit around existing infrastructure, directional drilling can minimize the risk of damage to pipes, cables, and other structures.
Benefits of Horizontal Drilling
The primary benefit of horizontal drilling is that it increases the contact area between the wellbore and the target formation. This allows for greater extraction of natural resources. Horizontal drilling also improves well productivity and can result in better well performance over time.
Another benefit of horizontal drilling is that it can reduce the environmental impact of drilling. By drilling horizontally, fewer drilling pads are needed, reducing the disturbance of the land surface. Additionally, horizontal drilling can help to minimize the risk of groundwater contamination and other environmental hazards associated with traditional drilling methods.
Directional and Horizontal Drilling From Unlimited Underground
No matter if your company needs directional drilling or horizontal drilling, Unlimited Underground has the necessary equipment and expertise to get the job done right. We provide underground drilling for things like technology infrastructure, utility construction, EV charging infrastructure, and more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your project.