Directional drilling has played a large part in the growth of Oil Drilling & Gas Extraction globally, and in the US, where the market size is estimated to be $812 billion! Yet, you can use a directional drill for other purposes besides ones that are fossil fuel related.
Directional drilling is an ever-advancing technology. It allows people from multiple industries to develop new projects and solve problems. In this short guide, we’ll talk a little more about directional drilling and its applications.
Read on to better educate yourself about how and when to use a directional drill.
What Is Directional Drilling?
Put simply, directional drills can bore horizontally as well as vertically. When you can bore out horizontal holes, you can achieve various project goals that would be impossible with a vertical-only drill.
You can refer to directional drilling as slant drilling or directional boring as well. Here are a few examples of how people use directional drilling:
Underground Infrastructure Projects
When it comes to underground infrastructure projects, the benefits of directional drilling are undeniable. With specialized equipment, engineers can drill below the ground in various directions to achieve their infrastructure project goals.
For instance, engineers can install conduits below above-ground obstacles. Such obstacles might be wetlands, roads, or buildings.
Engineers can also use directional drills to recover things from underground. An example of this is the recovery of a Ditch Witch.
Directional Well Creation
Oil companies save a lot of time, money, and effort making directional wells. Sometimes there are multiple wells underground. Instead of making separate bores for each well, they make one bore that connects them together.
Directional drills allow engineers to zig-zag wellbores in their designs. There is aim is to connect to multiple target zones. They use computers to do this in a very cost-effective way.
Directional drilling is ideal for drilling below rivers for pipe installations. The oil and gas industry does this a lot. Telecommunication companies also do the same so that they can install cables.
Without directional drill technology, it would be impossible to drill such bores. And so many people in remote areas may not have access to utilities without it.
Did you know the longest subsea cable is 45,000 km long? Parts closer to the land need to be put beneath the sea bed using directional drills.
Drilling Below Towns and Cities
Sometimes oil and gas companies need to drill beneath cities and towns. For obvious reasons, they can’t do this will vertical drilling – the infrastructure above the ground may be too dense. Plus, they may not be able to get planning permission.
So instead, such companies drill below a town or city with directional drills. This way, they can extract valuable assets without disturbing any settlement.
Understanding Directional Drill Technology
People use directional drill technology in various ways. The oil and gas industry uses it a lot for their drilling projects. However, many now use the technology in the utility and infrastructure-building industries.
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