Directional Drilling 101 | A Layman's Guide

9 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Whether you have oil mining taking place near your property or you have to have a new water line installed, do not be surprised if the idea of directional or horizontal drilling comes up. Many of the most skilled contractors in various applications now use directional drilling methods, as they are considered less intrusive to the environment and the method is often more time efficient than traditional excavation. If you have never heard of directional drilling, you will no doubt be left with questions and curiosities. Here are a few of the more common queries unfamiliar consumers usually have about directional drilling practices.

How does directional drilling differ from usual excavation techniques?

Directional drilling involves creating typically one access point for a drill that can reach several meters beneath the ground to bore a pathway which will be used to install a new line or pipe. The drill operating equipment is parked at the central entrance point and unlike excavation, the majority of the work is completed from that one area.

Can directional drilling take place on all types of land?

Directional drilling or horizontal boring is not recommended for all types of underground materials. While the method works fairly well in dense materials, loose ground materials, such as slate or cobblestone, tend to put too much pressure on the drill as it moves through the ground because of the shifting density.

What is the farthest a directional drill can reach during pipeline installation?

Most laymen are surprised to learn just how far a directional drill can bore into the ground. Lengths of as much as 2000 meters have been reported in some line installations, which is an incredible distance considering no trenches are dug during the process.

What steps does the general directional drilling process involve?

The directional drilling process usually occurs in stages. Here is a simple breakdown of the process:

  1. The land is assessed to determine density and viability for directional drilling.
  2. Receiving holes and entrance pits for viscous fluids are placed.
  3. The directional drilling equipment is situated in a central location and drilling begins.
  4. Once the drill and reamer have created a pathway, new lines are installed through to a previously determined exit point.

Even though directional drilling may sound like a highly complex operation, the basic fundamentals are really rather simple. If you would like to know more about directional drilling, talk to a contractor such as HDD Full Bore Directional Inc.


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