Horizontal directional drilling contractors have gone too far in terms of developing the technology used in the process and horizontal drilling was actually the more recent and important breakthrough. Originally, mastery of horizontal drilling around the 20th century was for oil rather than gas exploration and was restricted to formations that were hard to produce because they had low permeability like shale and chalk or were nearing exhaustion or where conventional drilling produced too much water too quickly and not enough oil and gas. It was the innovation that lit the long fuse for the shale revolution that erupted 15 years later.
The modern history of horizontal drilling can be traced back 100 years ago when the first patent of horizontal drilling technique was issued in 1891. It was used mainly for dental work but the applicant noted the same techniques could be used for heavy-duty engineering.
David Blackmon wrote in Forbes magazine last January 2013 that, “Horizontal drilling is the real marvel of engineering and scientific innovation.” He added that horizontal drilling now allows operators to drill and set pipe for a mile or more horizontally through the same rock formation. Directional drilling contractors use sensors to detect particularly promising rock intervals within the formation and are able to move the drill string up or down, left or right as they drill the horizontal section to target intervals.
Fracking or Hydraulic fracturing on the other hand is also a method used in drilling. It is a proven drilling technology used for extracting oil, natural gas, geothermal energy, or water from deep underground. It has been safely used in the US since 1947 and millions of US wells have been completed using the fracking process. It is also a completion technique where it is performed after the oil and natural gas well has been drilled.
Hydraulically fractured horizontal wells became the predominant method of US oil and gas development. The combination of horizontal drilling and fracking has contributed to the increase in crude oil and natural gas production in the US.
But to drill horizontal wells effectively without compromising budgets, the industry had to master the use of flexible drill pipe and steerable down-hole motors and technology enabling drillers to monitor changes in the rock in real-time so the wellbore can be kept with the target formation. Fracking and horizontal drilling have been widely applied in both conventional and unconventional contexts by directional drilling contractors.
Nowadays, if you are planning to hire horizontal directional drilling contractors for your project, there are some things to remember as well. One of them is safe practices. But if you are unsure and have an allocated budget for your drilling project, you can contact drillers near you. In Broomfield, Colorado, Advanced Line Systems has been an expert in the business. Since 2008, they have become one of the industry leaders in professional horizontal directional boring and utility line placement in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. You can never go wrong with them.
Call (303) 475-8420 for your inquiries and job orders.