Four Advancements In Directional Drilling Technologies That Can Make Your Project Cleaner And More Precise

12 May 2023
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Directional drilling is a process of drilling a wellbore in a specific direction, without the need to dig large trenches. It is done by using a drill rig that can be moved laterally, which allows the well to deviate from its vertical alignment.

Today, directional drilling is used extensively in oil and gas extraction, mining, and other industrial applications. The following are four advances in directional drilling technologies that can make your project cleaner and more precise:

1. Automated Drill Guidance Systems

Directional drilling services have long used survey maps and GPS to guide their boreholes toward their targets. But now, many contractors are turning to automated drill guidance systems (ADGS). These systems automate the process by using cameras, lasers or radar to monitor the position of the drill bit as it moves through the ground. This allows for greater accuracy and reduces the risk of hitting pipes, cables or other utilities that may be buried underground.

2. High-Resolution Imaging Techniques

High-resolution imaging techniques let contractors see what's going on inside a borehole without having to send someone down into it. They do this by using advanced imaging tools like micro-computed tomography (micro CT) scanners and high-definition video cameras that can provide detailed images of underground structures right from above ground level. This helps contractors avoid unnecessary drilling and helps them plan more effectively. When used in combination with other techniques, high-resolution imaging can also help contractors detect the presence of even the smallest cracks and defects in a pipe, which can be especially useful for finding leaks before they cause costly damage.

3. Extended-Reach Drilling Capabilities

Directional drilling technology is now capable of drilling through many different types of soil and rock formations to reach depths that were previously unreachable. This has been made possible by the development of high-strength drilling cables, which can withstand the high pressures that occur while drilling at these depths. These cables are also flexible enough to bend around obstacles and curves in the ground and still provide a strong connection between the drill pipe and the rig at the surface.

4. Improved Directional Drilling Fluids

Specialised muds now contain polymers and lubricants optimised for directional drilling. They enable smooth, efficient boring and help extend reach while stabilising boreholes and reducing friction. These advanced muds are particularly useful in high-temperature environments, where they can prevent pipes from sticking. They also protect the drill bit and borehole walls against corrosion. 

To find out more about the latest technological improvements in directional drilling, chat with a directional drilling services provider today.