//Horizonal and Vertical Drilling

Horizonal and Vertical Drilling

Horizontal and Vertical drilling are two different drilling techniques to explore and develop oil and gas properties

Vertical Drilling

Vertical drilling involves drilling a well straight down into the earth until the drill bit reaches the formation being developed. The well is then completed and starts producing oil or natural gas.

  • Advantage(s) : Vertical well drilling is considered a conventional method of oil and gas extraction. Nevertheless, vertical wells usually less expensive to develop due to the directional boring that isn’t needed.
  • Disadvantage(s) : Vertical wells have traditionally depended on the pressure on the deposit to facilitate extraction, something that is not possible in tight oil and other unconventional oil formations.
  • Common use : In the sea, vertical wells are still the more common method as drilling from an offshore platform is already quite complex
Horizontal Drilling

horizontal drilling involves drilling a well to a predetermined depth based on seismic and other geological data and then turning the well horizontally to a set lateral length. The well is then completed and production of oil and natural gas begins. This is sometimes referred to as directional drilling.

  • Advantage(s) :
    1. increasing the drainage area of the platform
    2. prevention of gas coning or water coning problems
    3. increasing the penetration of the producing formation
    4. increasing the efficiency of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques
    5. improving productivity in fractured reservoirs by intersecting a number of vertical fractures.
  • Disadvantage (s) : Horizontal Drilling is more expensive than Vertical drilling due its needs for sophisticated tools and technology.
  • Common use : It is usually utilized to draw out energy from a source that runs continuously and horizontally, such as a layer of shale rock


Hyne, Norman J. 2012. Petroleum Geology, Exploration, Drilling & Production. Oklahoma. PennWell Corporation

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