Directional And Horizontal Drilling – What Are The Benefits?
November 10, 2016
There are a number of ways that a company can drill for resources once they have purchased or leased mineral rights from the person who owns them. Depending on the circumstances which include land geology, surface rights, and well performance, there are a number of ways to access underground reservoirs, including directional and horizontal ground penetration.
Vertical drilling is definitely the easiest method to use; however, those selling their mineral rights should understand all the options that can be used for excavation in order to access the various elements on their land.
What Are Directional and Horizontal Drilling?
Directional drilling such as horizontal is the process of boring any way other than vertically. Using this method can mean going into the ground at an angle to reach mineral deposits or doing it first vertically, then crosswise to reach deposits. Boring into the dirt at an angle or from side to side can increase well production or provide access that is unreachable through the vertical method. When a mineral rights owner decides to sell, determining the best way to penetrate the land to access deposits is a part of the exploration process.
Directional and Horizontal - More Effective than Vertical?
There are a number of instances when directional drilling is a better choice for reaching deposits than by doing it vertically. Based on location, land formation, and other variables, drilling companies may use these methods for the following reasons:
- Deposits Not Reachable - Whether the problem is a huge rock formation underground or structures on the ground, it may be necessary to go around things. By using directional and horizontal drilling, owners of mineral rights can still sell them despite these concerns. Drilling companies can simply bore into the land around them to reach the deposits.
- Increase Well Production - Directional and crosswise drilling can increase well production in a number of ways. First, it allows access to and drainage of larger deposits from a single pad by creating multiple wells in the same area. It can also increase the payzone if drilling is done through the horizontal length of a rock formation, as opposed to going through it vertically.
- Increase Production in Fractured Reservoirs - When reservoirs are fractured, extracting the elements from the land can be more challenging. Directional and horizontal drilling so the well crosses the largest number of fractures can greatly increase production.
- Relieve Pressure - Directional drilling is a common technique used to relieve the pressure of wells that are out of control. By tapping the same well from an angle, pressure is relieved as oil and gas are diverted to two wells instead of just one.
Considering the many variables that may exist at drilling sites, directional and horizontal drilling methods provide the most options for accessing deposits. Still, these alternative techniques must be carefully planned before an owner should attempt to sell precious assets. Mineral rights laws are generally based on the assumption of vertical drilling. Since directional and side to side drilling could result in perforating multiple land parcels, there could be more than one owner involved. This may require a more tailored royalty agreement depending on the deposit location and mineral rights ownership by more than one party!
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