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Just like Directional drilling, Horizontal drilling is a trenchless drilling method which involves drilling the well vertically down to a depth, and then turning the path of drilling until it is extended horizontally.


With horizontal wells, the drill bit is drilled on a path that changes from a vertical to horizontal orientation, and when it has achieved the appropriate angle, drilling continues on in the completely horizontal direction.

The vertical part of the well is normally drilled while the drill bit is rotating.


This type of drilling is called sliding because the drill string is literally sliding down the borehole of the well as the only thing rotating is the bit.


With advances in horizontal and directional drilling equipment, different wells can be drilled from one site from multiple angles.


Now, various wells can be drilled from a single location at countless angles, tapping reserves that are miles beneath the surface.


Directional and horizontal trenchless drilling has been used to access targets under neighboring lands, to minimize footprints for developing natural gas fields, to extend the length of a pay zone within the well, to intentionally cross-cut fractures, to build re-entry wells, and to lay service lines under lands where digging is either not possible or extraordinarily costly.


Horizontal techniques are used as an alternative drilling technique for oil and gas development in situations in which vertical wells are not feasible or reservoir shapes are hard to access.


In addition to its use for oil production, horizontal trenchless drilling may be beneficial for underground utility or pipeline construction, which must pass under waterways or existing buildings.



While conventional drilling uses approximately 80,000 gallons of water for each fracture operation, horizontal drilling uses higher-intensity hydraulic fractures, using as much as 3,000,000 gallons for each fracture operation, and more than one hydraulic fracture for each well.


Instead, oil and gas companies are horizontally drilling through shale, injecting into the shale a mixture of water, chemicals, and gum--also known as shale sludge.


After installing hydraulic engines, a drill bit and drill pipe are dropped down into the well again, with the bit drilling out a path that guides the bore of the well from vertical to horizontal for several hundred feet.

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