Directional Drilling

After doing some research on drilling for my final paper, i learned a bit about the different types of drilling used to extract oil and natural gas from the ground. One type in particular is directional drilling. This drilling allows for the bore hole to turn which ever way drillers want it to. This comes in handy in populated areas where you cant just drill right in the middle of the town. Instead, the initial hole is drilled outside the perimeter of a targeted source. The hole is drilled down, then turned more at a horizontal angle in order to reach a resource underneath something such as a city or body of water. It is also beneficial because most reservoirs containing oil or natural gas run horizontally so it is able to get more of the targeted resource.

Horizontal drilling has other benefits that the other types of drilling dont have. One benefit is that it is allows for a lower footprint on the environment. It also allows to drill further than normal. Directional drilling makes it possible to drill relief wells and do utility work underneath the ground where it is not economically plausible to excavate the land. It has also been used to intersect fractures underneath the ground, like in California to study the San Andreas Fault.

Other things that directional drilling can do that vertical drilling cant are that it hits targets that cant be reached by vertical drilling. It allows the drainage of broader areas from one single central locations. It increases the range of drilling and therefore increases the “pay zone”. In return more money can be made. Directional drilling is able to tap into broken reservoirs and salvage precious resources. It has the capabilities to release or seal such things as an out of control well.

This drilling method is the best method of drilling out there. More than one hole can be drilled from one platform which is one reason for it to be more environmentally friendly. This is the primary method for oil drilling that oil companies are proposing for exploring the ANWR region in Alaska. There still hasnt been any advancement in drilling in the region because the environmentalists are still giving better arguments for not drilling rather than oil companies that want to drill for oil.

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