A Rough Guide To Horizontal Directional Drilling

In the oil and gas industries, a process called horizontal directional drilling gets used. The process is also called directional boring or slant drilling. Are you are thinking of pursuing a career in either industry? If so, it’s important you know about horizontal directional drilling. 

Today’s blog post will give you a primer on the subject. It’s by no means intended as a full training document. It’s designed to give you an idea of what horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is. 

Continue reading this blog post to learn more. Feel free to save this page to your web browser’s favorites bar if you want to read it again later!


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 What is Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD)?

Horizontal directional drilling is a process that involves the drilling of various wells. These wells get drilled within a specific oil or gas-bearing zone from a vertical well hole. 

The process also gets used when pipes and conduits need installing. First of all, a “pilot” borehole gets drilled along a certain segment. That is to ensure there is little disturbance from the surface area. 

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is also useful for creating pipelines underneath roads and rivers. For the most part, this drilling method gets used just in the oil and gas industries. 

Why is horizontal directional drilling a good idea?

Conventional boring methods cannot get used in all scenarios. If you need to drill a hole between two locations, there are times where an obstacle might be in the way. When that is the case, horizontal directional drilling is a good idea. 

Horizontal directional drilling is much cheaper than using open-trench methods. In most cases, savings of 600 to 800% are commonplace! 

There are also some other benefits to horizontal directional drilling: 

  • Single borehole. With conventional drilling methods, you would have to dig many trenches. But with horizontal directional drilling, you only need to dig one trench;
  • Reduced fractures. One of the main benefits is that there are fewer rock fractures, unlike with conventional methods;
  • Eco-friendly. Horizontal directional drilling is the greenest of all drilling methods. The ecosystem around the drilling areas is all protected. And there is little risk of groundwater contamination;
  • Not dependent on weather. It doesn’t matter whether it’s sunny or raining. Horizontal directional drilling can operate in all weather conditions;
  • Fewer disruptions to the landscape. When most people think of drilling, they imagine large, muddy industrial-scale areas. The good news is that the surrounding surface area remains undisturbed. 

Are there any risks with horizontal directional drilling?

As you have gathered, there are many benefits to horizontal directional drilling. But, as with anything in life, there are certain risk factors you need to know about. 

The equipment used with horizontal directional drilling is heavy and runs on tracks. They can damage the ground underneath them while in transit. 

Another important thing to bear in mind is the water used for boring. The water will affect the area adjacent to the equipment but shouldn’t cause too many issues for site operators.

Thanks for reading today’s article!