Directional Drilling

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The principle of cable-tool drilling has remained unchanged since it first started in China. According to Kurts, DeGolyer (1940) “Drilling is done by repeatedly lifting and dropping a heavy string of drilling tool into the borehole, with the drill bit crushing consolidated rocks into small fragments”. Huge improvements have been made from the Chinese bamboo method. University of Kansas (1940) highlighted the key improvements that the rig mechanisms had. A good example of this is the spring pole which originally was operated by the weight and strength of three or more men, this was replaced with a modern all steel rig “which is powered with an internal-combustion engine, electric motor or steam engine” Kurtz, et al (1940). This mechanical advancement has continued during this period; however man power was still required in drilling practices regardless the advancement. 2.3 Rotary drilling technique Dr Reed Claude (2009) stated that “it was approximately 100 years ago ‘20th century’ that rotary drilling started to develop into the oil and gas industry and its then when it became a standard method of reaching oil and gas formations”. He added “It was about this time that this basic mechanical method phased out the cable-tool drilling method” (Claude, 2009). Since the start of rotary drilling, key improvements have occurred, however the method of drilling has not changed. Directional drilling developed in the 1920s is adapted to rotary drilling for “drilling horizontal wells” (Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune. 2009). The American Oil and Gas Historical Society (2006) reviewed the difference between rotary and cable-tool drilling. “Instead of the repetitive lift and drop of heavy cable-tool bits, the rotary introduced the... ... middle of paper ... ...ols • Sidetrack • Directional laser drilling devices. Paul Deutch (2009) president of Foro Energy stated that “Laser drilling would eliminate costs of using steel wall casing because the laser seals the wall of the wellbore as it bores by creating a ceramic sheath”, resulting in an “elimination of influx and out-fluxes of fluids in and out of the well” (2009). As a result, this reduces problems of formation collapsing. However, Mike Philips (2010) Total operations manager argued that laser drilling will be very difficult and expensive to apply as the “Laser must be able to cut or basically fuse the rock, a lot of energy will be required for this” (2010). Accordingly, regardless of requirements of requiring a lot of energy to power the laser, the idea of applying laser technology to the oil and gas industry is a feasible option for improving the drilling process.

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