The advancement in oil and gas exploration and production technology is doubtless one of the key components of the current global oil boom. The technological explosion that started to make huge impact in the oil sector in the past years now results to more efficiency in oil explorations and drilling operations.
Since they are more equipped, especially with advanced seismic imaging tools, oil drilling operators became more capable of efficiently and cost-effectively extracting oil from previously untapped sources commonly found in deeper and more remote and frigid regions. Some of the advanced drilling technologies that revolutionized the oil sector are the following:
• Horizontal drilling - Characterized by a vertical well that deviates horizontally within the reservoir rock
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• Multilateral drilling - Characterized by wells branched out from a single main well to reach different targets, allowing engineers to tap oil reserves at reservoir compartments at different depths
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• Extended reach drilling - Characterized by very long horizontal wells that enable producers to tap oil reserves at great distances away from the surface hole
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• Complex path drilling - Characterized by a single drill hole with complex paths intended to reach multiple targets
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At present, there is a continuous advancement in drilling operations. The advent of advance technologies has simply reduced the technical difficulties in drilling operations. These new approaches do not only save time, money, and other resources, but more importantly, reduce the environmental impacts of the operations, and increase safety.
Ali Ghalambor was an American Petroleum Institute endowed professor and is the co-author of the book “Gas Volume Requirements for Underbalanced Drilling: Deviated Holes.” For more related content about oil drilling technologies, follow this Twitter page.