Horizontal Directional Drilling

How Does Horizontal Directional Drilling Work

Horizontal Directional Drilling is a type of drilling that involves installing underground pipes, cables, and service conduits. This process uses a drilling machine that drills trenches. The machine drills accurately on the chosen path.

Horizontal drilling has many applications. These applications include placing telecommunication cables, electric cables, gas, oil, and water pipelines. The machine uses an easy process to make the directional trenches.

Directional drilling is the technique most oil companies use to extract oil from their underground reservoirs. The drilling can either be directional or vertical. Technicians use a vertical well to remove oil from underground using wells that have been drilled vertically into the ground.

What is Horizontal Directional Drilling?

Horizontal directional drilling is drilling in which technicians drill a well through an inclination of 90 degrees from the vertical side. It happens when the reservoir has a shape that is not easily accessible. Most companies have adopted this system in areas where drilling wells is complex vertically.

Companies started using this type of drilling because horizontal drilling can stimulate the reservoirs at non-vertical angles, producing oil more efficiently than vertical drilling. The system can work even better in previously weak areas by combining it with hydraulic fracturing.

Many individuals were not aware of this system till 2010 when it became popular through a company in the United States that used it to extract fossil fuel. However, the system has become more prominent because of the improvement of technology.

How Horizontal Directional Drilling Works

The process of horizontal drilling begins with drilling a vertical well. This well will be the anchor to provide an angle for drilling. The machine digs the vertical well till the bit hits the rock underneath. Because the drilling pipe is not practical, they place a mud motor in return to drill.

The mud motor uses mud as a drilling fluid to move through the earth’s surface. The mud powers the engine as it drills down the well. At this point, the motor is digging in a non-vertical direction. The machine can change direction, thus allowing for horizontal drilling.

During horizontal directional drilling, the drill bit is the one that changes the direction of movement from vertical to horizontal. Once it has found a proper angle to drill, it continues fully in that direction. The motor must have an extended electric power cable for the process to be efficient.

How to Install A Horizontal Directional Drilling System

Horizontal Directional Drilling works in three stages. These stages include;

  • Pilot drilling
  • Expanding the hole
  • Extracting the production pipe

Pilot Drilling

The first process of drilling begins by drilling a hole. It is the pilot hole. Behind the drilling head, they place an electronic transmitter that sends a signal to the surface. The fix is dug horizontally and continues along the path.

A power electric cable connects the transmitter and receiver, ensuring that it relays correctly. The drill head uses the information relayed by the transmitter to drill the path in the instructed direction.

Expanding the Hole

Once the machine has dug the borehole, it is time to expand the gap to the correct size. It is possible by using a directional drilling machine with a larger diameter. The drill used is the required diameter of the well.

As the drill moves directionally, it pumps out all the slurry present in the borehole. In this process, it is not the whole drill that is changed. Only the reamer of the required diameter is attached to the opposite end of the borehole.

MPP Horizontal Directional Drilling Electric Power Cable

Extracting the Production Pipe

Once they complete drilling, it is time to pull back the machine. At this time, the borehole has the correct diameter. You can then pull the conduit through the enlarged borehole.

Once they remove the drilling equipment in the hole, they install a pipeline. It is prefabricated and attached to the opposite end of the drill rig. The technicians then attach the reamer and connect it to the drill string by pulling the head and swivel.

The horizontal directional drilling rig begins the process of pulling back. In this process, the drill string and drilling fluids are pulled out by the rig as the pipeline moves into the borehole. The function of the swivel is to ensure that the reamer turns without the pipeline turning.

This process continues until the reamer moves out of the borehole and the pipeline inside the hole. If a conduit is supposed to carry electric power cables, PE cable, or other products in this process, they insert an aircraft cable before pulling.

Lesso provides high-quality MPP horizontal Directional Drilling Electric Power cables that can provide cables for the underground systems. These cables have high-temperature resistance and can be effective even at high voltages.

Also, the cables have a solid resistance to impact, are flexible, make them favorable for underground cabling, and are perfect for the environment.

Why is it Essential for Infrastructure Construction?

Horizontal Directional Drilling is significant to the environment because it has made it easy for homeowners and companies to install underground utilities, including sewage, water, power, gas, and select communication cables.

With horizontal drilling available, the drilling does not interfere with the upper surface of the landscape. Thus, making it easier for companies to install their utilities underground without any restrictions. Thus, making it cheaper to use.

At the same time, the system is easy to use since the system is flexible and easy to install in any landscape. Oil companies can now install their pipeline without the fear of contaminating the upper surface.

As more people build houses and commercial estates, it is hard to find space to install pipelines or overhead cables. This system is helping many people have more room to practice their activities without the fear of being near pipelines or electric power cables.

Commercial companies use horizontal directional drilling to keep the environment clean and minimize their resources. This system has made work more accessible by moving cables and pipelines to far distances without thinking about the landscape.

Nelson James
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