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Horizontal drilling and its impact on the future of oil and gas extraction

There are many basic techniques and methods through which drilling can be done to access reserves when we talk about hydrocarbon resources. Horizontal drilling technology is one of those techniques that has gained great popularity in recent years, due to its role in accessing resources that were previously difficult to access or had high costs. In other techniques, such as vertical drilling.

The following article includes an introduction to this technology and its impact on the future of oil and gas extraction, so follow along to see more details about it.What is the horizontal drilling method?
It is a term that refers to a type of directional or directional drilling method in which an oil well is drilled, whether within an oil or gas field, vertically from one location on the surface and from there it is deviated in the horizontal direction at an angle ranging between 80 to 90 degrees with the aim of expanding within a wider area underneath. Ground, has recently gained popularity and is used in cases where the tank is in an abnormal position or difficult to access.

This technique is also used in the case that requires closing or reducing the pressure of a well, by drilling an adjacent well and entering the well whose pressure is required to be reduced horizontally to vent it. It is also used in some situations that require directional drilling but are not directly related to the field of extraction, such as the case of building a line network. Underground pipes or in tunnels, service lines and infrastructure that require digging horizontally under existing buildings or rivers.

Horizontal wells have proven their effectiveness in hydraulic fracturing used in drilling oil rocks that have zero permeability and require access to them in a specialized way in order to extract them. Drilling work is carried out horizontally within the soil and rocks, with quantities of water and some other chemicals being pumped to help in drilling that rock. The force of pressure opens some holes in the rock so that crude oil or natural gas can flow out of the hole.

The first decade of the current century included a notable development in the use of horizontal drilling to extract fossil fuels. With technological development, these techniques were able to reduce costs and maximize extraction efficiency. This was helped by the use of two types of devices in drilling, namely:

Mud motor or pump: It is a huge machine or machine used to drill into the ground and uses fluids known as mud. It can be directed in different directions, other than vertical, through some modifications to it.
Measurements while drilling device (MWD): The drilling process must be under complete control by the producing company to obtain the required result, which is what this device provides. It analyzes the various conditions that the machine encounters during subsurface drilling in real time so that a decision can be made based on them. .

In addition, modern technology has helped in the use of bendable drill bits through hydraulic pistons, which greatly helps in adjusting the drilling angles with high accuracy, as the angles can be adjusted using a computer based on the reservoir coordinates on the GPS system to determine the completely appropriate drilling method. Its precisely accessible.

This method is used in a number of countries, including China, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, and even in countries in the Middle East and Africa, such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, and many others. Countries around the world.

Horizontal drilling and its impact on the future of oil and gas extraction

What are the benefits and advantages of using horizontal drilling?

120T hdd machine
120T hdd machine

The horizontal drilling method has a number of benefits compared to traditional drilling techniques, which is why it is the most preferred option for many gas and oil companies. These advantages include the following:

– Maximizing efficiency:
Horizontal drilling allows operators to access several different wells from a single location, which has a significant role in reducing costs and maximizing efficiency.

– Improving well communication:
Horizontal drilling increases the effectiveness of the contact area between the well and its hole, which provides better extraction of oil and gas, and this reflects an increase in productivity.

– Reducing environmental impact:
Horizontal drilling plays a role in reducing the environmental impacts of extraction operations, through direct and precise access to the targeted wells, which helps the operating company avoid unnecessary risks and reduces the surface footprint of extraction operations in the invested and surrounding area, as it does not require large areas or land reclamation. Designated for agriculture, but the place can be used for agricultural exploitation.

– Increased extraction opportunities:
As mentioned previously, horizontal drilling techniques make it possible to reach places that were previously thought impossible, which increases the chances of extracting reserves from reservoirs where traditional drilling methods have not worked, including offshore or beneath residential and urban areas.

– Promoting occupational safety:
Horizontal drilling helps operators avoid the risks and challenges of drilling in unstable formations, meaning safer drilling.
What does the future hold for oil and gas extraction by horizontal drilling?
Industrial statistics indicate that the compound annual growth rate of the global horizontal drilling market is expected to reach 9 percent over the next few years, which is driven by an increase in the proportion of investment and exploration within seawater and an increase in demand for unconventional resources.

It is also expected that the accuracy and efficiency of the tools and techniques used will increase with the continuous technological progress and innovation in the oil and gas industry , which will make extraction with very high accuracy and less impact on the environment. This is driven by innovations and modern technology that are being introduced little by little in this industry to address future problems. like:

Introducing automation and robotics that will reduce the need for the human element and improve accuracy and efficiency.
The use of big data and its analysis, which will provide high-quality insights and visualizations that will help in the real-time decision-making process, make informed decisions, and improve drilling parameters.
Using the Internet of Things ( IoT ) to connect various drilling equipment and systems, allowing real-time operations to be monitored and modified remotely, improving communication between teams and enhancing operational efficiency at work.
Developing drill bits and equipment and using good quality measuring machines and devices, which improves the quality, speed and durability.
Taking environmental considerations into account to achieve environmental sustainability, which is done by using biodegradable fluids for drilling, new and effective waste management systems, and using renewable energy sources in drilling operations.

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In conclusion,

Horizontal drilling has revolutionized the oil and gas sector, as it has enabled operators to extract reserves more efficiently and effectively, and thanks to its many advantages and its expected growth in the global market, this technology will certainly have a major role in the future of extracting these resources.

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