Directional Drilling Terminology: What You Need to Know

directional drilling

Whether you’re working as an apprentice in the field of directional drilling or you’re looking to get involved in directional drilling, it’s essential to understand the directional drilling terminology.

It is beneficial if you’re planning on taking the test to get certified in directional drilling. The last thing that you want is to miss out on any of the defined terms.

While you’ll pick up on industry phrases, it’s always helpful to have a solid list of what directional drilling is.

Read on to discover our guide to directional drilling terminology that you need to know!

What is Directional Drilling and the Different Types?

Directional drilling is a type of drilling where the well is not drilled vertically but rather at an angle or horizontally to the surface. This type of drilling is used when trying to reach a reserve of hydrocarbons that are not accessible by traditional methods.

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Directional drilling requires specialized equipment and trained personnel. One of the most critical pieces of equipment is the solid control equipment.

Angle drilling: This is where the well is drilled at an angle from the surface, between 30 and 60 degrees. The benefit of angle drilling is that it can reach hydrocarbons that are deeper than what traditional methods can access. The drawback is that it is more expensive and can be more challenging to control.

Horizontal drilling: The well is drilled horizontally from the surface. The benefit of horizontal drilling is that it can reach hydrocarbons further from the surface. The drawback is that it is more expensive and can be more challenging to control.

Directional Drilling Glossary

There are a lot of terms used in directional drilling. For someone who is not familiar with the industry, it can be quite confusing. Here is a brief explanation of some of the most used terms:

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The angle of inclination: the angle deviation of the wellbore from the vertical.

Ez azimuth: the degree to which the wellbore is rotated from a vertical position.

True vertical depth: is the depth of the wellbore measured vertically from the surface to the bottom of the hole.

Drilling fluid: Used to lubricate the drill bit and carry cuttings out of the well. It is also used to maintain pressure within the wellbore.

Drill bit: A cutting tool used to drill the wellbore. It consists of several cutting elements that rotate to create a cutting action.

Drill string: A long pipe connects the drill bit to the surface.

Bearing: This is a term used to describe the angle between the drill bit and the wellbore.

Inclination: This is the angle between the wellbore and the horizontal plane.

Azimuth: This is the angle between the wellbore and the magnetic north.

Kickoff point: This is the point at which the wellbore deviates from the vertical.

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Knowing Directional Drilling Terminologies

Directional drilling is a unique form that allows you to place your wellbore in a precise location. By understanding the basic terminology associated with directional drilling, you can ensure that your drilling project is completed successfully.

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