Directional drilling refers to any boring that does not go in a straight line, and this is why it is also known as slant drilling. This method is used for controlling the deviation and direction of a wellbore to a predetermined underground location target. 

Directional drilling allows multiple holes to be drilled from the same rig, which will minimize surface disturbances and environmental impact. This is one of the reasons why this technique is so valuable in the oil and gas industries, as drilling multiple wells from the same wellbore will minimize its impact on our environment. Additionally, the boreholes can extend up to a mile down and for more than five miles at shallower angles. 

Directional drilling offers plenty of possibilities because drilling at an angle means more of the reservoir gets explored because it tends to form horizontally and not vertically. Sometimes, the reservoir might not resemble a reservoir at all and might be oil-saturated sand or shale and directional drilling is very valuable in shale because the formation can be explored to follow richer seams. It’s also common to find deposits below salt domes or fault planes, and the driller will face increased technical risk in these situations. Directional drilling can avoid salt domes and reduce pressure on equipment near fault lines. 

Directional drilling can also be used if there is tough rock like granite between the surface and the hydrocarbons and if the reservoir extends down diagonally so that the shallow end yields a little and the deep end is hard to drill vertically. If there is some other reason why the reservoir is inaccessible from above, and the surface land is a mountain, town or nature reserve, for example, directional drilling can be used. 

Another use for directional drilling is in the event of an uncontrolled well, and there are many applications for this method. 


Well, integrity is one of the most crucial aspects of directional drilling because drilling at deeper or extended distances can cause a number of additional engineering challenges and stresses on the equipment, as can changing direction. The drill string will be less stressed when going in a straight line, and every degree of turn will cause extra friction and unbalanced pressure, which is why its integrity must be maintained otherwise, it can snap or become jammed. 

There are a few different types of directional drilling, and multilateral drilling is where a downhole bore has multiple lateral offshoots, whereas extended reach drilling is categorized by longer wellbores drilled from the rig. Horizontal directional drilling is sometimes the only possible way to tap a reservoir, and this applies when you need to drill under a town or nature reserve, for example. It can also be a cost-saving exercise if you need to drill under a salt dome or mountain. 

Finally, directional drilling can sometimes be the best way of maximizing extraction by reaching more sections of a reservoir. 

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Need more information regarding directional drilling? You can contact the experts at Taber Solids Control! Our team will answer your questions regarding techniques and applications, and you can contact us at any time to learn more!