Have you ever wondered how oil and gas companies can extract resources from deep within the earth without damaging the surface?

The answer lies in a process known as directional drilling. This innovative technique has revolutionized the industry and is expected to reach 56.97 billion as an industry by 2027. It allows more efficient and friendly extraction of resources.

In this post, we’ll explore what exactly vertical drilling is, how it works, and its benefits for both industry and consumers alike.

So buckle up—we’re about to dive into the exciting world of drilling!

What is Directional Drilling?

Directional drilling is a method of boring underground in a custom and precise pathway. It allows for the safe and efficient installation of pipelines without disturbing the surface. A drilling rig by ditch witch is used to achieve this.

The process is done by allowing the operator to precisely control the path of drilling. It uses a special bit to steer through the soil, with a ‘bend’ included in the bit to achieve the desired angle. Directional drilling is extensively used for the installation of gas pipes, water pipelines, and electrical cables.

The equipment is used for drilling wells, particularly those that lack an adequate route to the required area. As such, Directional Drilling is used to complete a myriad of projects in civil engineering, and its use is becoming increasingly common. If you are unsure what is a ditch witch, dig into the industry resources to get a better grasp on the technology.

Types of Directional Drilling

There are three main types of vertical drilling: deviated, horizontal, and extended reach. It gives more access to areas that other drilling methods won’t be able to reach, while still providing the necessary access to accomplish the designed goal.

Deviated Drilling

It’s used to reach a target that is not in line with the well bore. The wellbore is angled away from the vertical so that it can reach the target. This type of drilling can use to reach targets that are underneath obstacles such as roads or buildings.

Horizontal Drilling

Horizontal drilling using to reach targets that are commonly located from the well bore. This type of drilling is often used to access oil and gas reserves that they’re located in tight formations. The wellbore it’s drilled horizontally through the formation until it reaches the target.

Extended-reach Drilling

It’s used to drill very long wells. This type of drilling can be used to reach targets that are located several kilometers away from the starting point. Extended-reach drilling typically uses a combination of horizontal and deviated drilling techniques.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Directional Drilling

It is a type of oil and gas well boring in which the well is drilled at an angle from the vertical. Slant drilling allows for more precise control of where the well goes and can extend the reach of the well beyond what would be possible with a vertical well.

Increased Accuracy

Directional drilling is much more accurate than vertical drilling. This means that wells can be placed closer to target reservoirs. This can lead to increased production and decreased costs.

Greater Reach

It allows for wells to be drilled at angles, they can extend much further than vertical wells. This means that slant drilling can access reserves that would otherwise be unreachable.

Greater Flexibility

Slant drilling provides greater flexibility in terms of where a well can be placed. This can be useful in cases where a reservoir is located in a difficult-to-reach or environmentally sensitive area.

Quite Expensive

Directional drilling is quite expensive due to the cost of machinery, manpower, and drilling technology needed. Professionals are often required to interpret geological data, program the equipment, and assess any potential obstacles. The money invested is often necessary for difficult projects, allowing for efficient access to distant or otherwise inaccessible veins.  


Directional drilling projects are often very time-consuming. This project typically requires extensive surveying of the area, doing extensive research into the ground conditions, designing the well, according to the local surface and subsurface conditions, and carefully installing the drill string to the predetermined depths. 

Extremely Technique-Dependent

Directional drilling is an extremely technique-dependent approach used to drill underground. It requires a well-executed operation from the drilling team, which involves skilled individuals working together in different aspects of the well construction process.

Equipment Used for Directional Drilling

This drilling requires specialized equipment. This includes rotary rigs, mud pumps, long-hole tools, and whipstock systems.

Rotary Rig

This rig consists of a derrick, a rotary table, Kelly bushing, and various other pieces of equipment. The derrick is used to support the weight of the drill string and keep it in place while the rotary table turns the drill bit. The Kelly bushing is what turns the drill bit and allows it to rotate.

Mud Pumps

Mud pumps are used to circulate drilling fluid through the system. This fluid helps to cool the drill bit, lubricate it, and remove cuttings from the well. Cuttings are brought up to the surface by what is called a circulating system.

Long Hole Tools

Longhole tools use a “spring mechanism” that enables them to bend along the trajectory of the borehole. Long-hole tools allow the drilling of longer horizontal sections than would be possible with traditional bits.


This uses equipment such as “whipstocks,” which are angled sets of blades oriented at an angle to cut into the ground. The whipstock is set into the ground near the drill bit, allowing the bit to be deflected or pointed in a certain direction away from the main vertical drill. 

How To Perform Directional Drilling?

Before drilling, it is necessary to have specialized equipment and drilling techniques to interpret and analyze the data. Below are simple drilling methods on how to perform directional drilling:

To start, you will need to find a suitable location for your well. This will typically be based on geologic surveys and other data that you have collected. Once you have found a good spot, you will need to set up your rig.

Once your rig is in place, you will need to drill a pilot hole. This hole will be drilled perpendicular to the direction that you want to drill in.

Consider This Directional Drilling Guide

Directional drilling has revolutionized the oil and gas industry. It allows the producers to tap into otherwise difficult-to-reach deposits. We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what directional drilling is.

Be sure to consider the types of drilling, advantages and disadvantages, the equipment used, and how to perform the drilling.

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