Horizontal Drilling

Definition - What does Horizontal Drilling mean?

Horizontal drilling can be referred to as the directional drilling of an oil well in a horizontal direction rather than vertical. Since most oil wells are drilled in a vertical direction, horizontal drilling helps in stimulating the well in a different way to extract most of the produce from the reservoir. Horizontal drilling is also called as directional drilling or slant drilling and it usually intersects a vertical oil well to stimulate it and produce oil and natural gas. It is a common method to extract natural gas from Marcellus shale formation.

Petropedia explains Horizontal Drilling

There are two types of oil well drilling – horizontal and vertical. Normally, wells are drilled in a vertical direction, i.e., drilled straight down into the rock formation. However, this traditional way of drilling oil well limits the complete extraction of the resources in the rock layer. Therefore, horizontal drilling, which is done intentionally in a horizontal direction in the earth’s depth, allows engineers to extract the energy sources from underground that are present in the horizontal layer. While the drilling process in the depth is carried in a horizontal direction, it initially begins in a vertical direction. From a straight vertical path, the drilling gets carried in a curve, ending in a horizontal position.

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