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Getting To The Good Stuff: Why You Need Directional Drilling

by Harry Martin

Drilling is the only way to get to the good stuff. Vertical wells are one way to go about it, but they're not always ideal. In fact, some vertical wells are wholly inadequate to the task at hand. Here's why you need non-vertical drilling techniques on your oilfield.

The Payzone Location

Sometimes, the payzone is just out of reach. Either it's underneath land where you are forbidden from drilling, or it's located in such a way that you cannot drill directly down to it. There are many schemes to get at such reservoirs, but the easiest, and most cost effective way to do it is with non-vertical drilling.

Too Many Disparate Wells

Another problem that comes with vertical wells is having too many wells. There are a number of detrimental conditions that come with drilling too many wells.

For one, if you're drilling so many wells just to deplete one reservoir, then you're doing it wrong. Multiple wells won't guarantee that you're getting all the resources out of the reservoir.

Secondly, too many wells will eventually allow other things to get into the reservoir such as water and gases. That will slow down the process for you even further.

Finally, you may find yourself in violation of regulations that dictate how far apart you can drill wells.

Beyond all of that, multiple wells increase your footprint and won't do the environment any favours. A far superior way to go about this is with horizontal drilling. And the only way to drill horizontally is with directional drilling.

If you drill vertically, and then horizontally into the payzone, you will have much more of the reservoir available to you. That will eliminate the need for multiple wells to get at one reservoir.

Multiple Directions, Multiple Possibilities

There are many more benefits to directional drilling. Having more control over the direction of the wellbore can help you reach what you previously thought was unreachable. Some contractors are better at drilling in very specific conditions than others are.

For example, the tools and equipment used for a short, curved wellbore are different from those used if you need a long radius bore. In addition, the way these methods work onshore and offshore can vary greatly.

That's why you need to make sure that you research directional drilling contractors to make sure they can do what you need them to do. Many of them will bill themselves as jack-of-all-trades, but most specialise. Make sure the drilling contractor you sign an MSA with is the right one for your specific needs.