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Horizontal Directional Drilling

Vertical & Horizontal Directional Drilling

June 27, 2016

Oil and gas exploration consists of two main drilling methods: conventional, also known as vertical drilling, and horizontal directional drilling. Below is a brief explanation of both and the reasons many oilfield exploration companies are choosing horizontal drilling..

horizontal directional drilling and vertical drillingVertical Drilling

Conventional vertical drilling was previously the most common type of drilling in the oil industry.

Vertical drilling goes straight down into the ground and is only able to extract the oil within close proximity. Since it’s a vertical well, it’s not able to extract any oil from areas around it. If oil is found next to it, more drilling pads are needed in order to extract it.

Horizontal Directional Drilling

Horizontal directional drilling started in the late 1920s, but it didn’t become a common way of extracting oil until the 1980s when new equipment and technology was available to oilfield service companies. The equipment and technology made horizontal directional drilling easier, more cost-effective, less invasive and more efficient than it had been in the past.

Drilling a horizontal well can seem more complicated, but it has become a working method many oil and gas companies are choosing today. RigData reported that almost 80 percent of drilling was horizontal in the first quarter of 2016.

As the name implies horizontal directional drilling occurs when the well is turned horizontally rather than vertically.

However, it’s first created as vertical well to reach the desired depth. Once the oilfield service companies drill vertically to determine the optimal layer with the most oil, they then begin to drill horizontally to extract more oil with less drilling pads.

There are several benefits to choosing horizontal drilling. Here are just a few.

Benefits of Horizontal Directional Drilling

  • Reach a wider range with fewer drilling pads
  • Extract more energy with fewer drilling pads
  • Advances in technology and equipment are making the process less complicated, more efficient and more cost-effective
  • Decreases environmental impacts because fewer drilling pads are needed
  • Increased production rate
  • Ability to change the direction of the well several times to access the most oil
  • Access oil that couldn’t be accessed vertically such as a reserve under a city park

Although the price of oil is down and rig counts are lower than they’ve been in previous years, there are still several oil and gas exploration companies drilling wells – most of which are horizontal.

Let them know your oilfield service company is an expert in the field. Once you’ve won some contracts, contact Scale Funding at (800) 707-4845 to see how we can be your partner in growing your oilfield service company by providing you with sufficient and steady cash flow with our oilfield factoring services.