Definition - What does Inclination mean?

Inclination, also known as well inclination is the angle of the deviation of a wellbore from the vertical path. For most vertical wellbores, inclination is the only measurement of the path of the wellbore. When used with fluids, a positive number indicates up-flow and a negative number may represent down-flow. Many times there is a necessity of drilling the well with a planned inclination. Inclination creates the difference between the actual and planned well paths.

Petropedia explains Inclination

The deviation of a wellbore from the vertical is measured in degrees. Many times wellbores are drilled with an inclination. Such drilling is called directional drilling. A directional well profile is the planned well trajectory from the surface to the final drilling depth.

Wells are drilled with an inclination for several purposes such as:

  • Increasing the exposed section length through the reservoir by drilling through the reservoir at an angle;
  • Drilling into locations where vertical access is difficult or not possible such as in oilfields underneath a town, lake or a in a difficult-to-drill formation;
  • Grouping more wellheads together on one surface location so as to allow fewer rig moves, less surface area disturbance, and make it easier and cheaper to complete and produce wells.

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