Horizontal Directional Drilling: Producing More Oil from Fewer Wells

Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), while an advanced technique, has been commonly used by the oil and gas industry safely and successfully over the past 40 years. HDD is an efficient technique, as it makes it possible to drill nearly 4,000 feet or more in multiple directions from the pad left or right of a well site, rather than just directly below the drilling pad; thus, allowing Collier Resources Company’s (CRC) lessees to drill more wells from a single pad, reducing the number of drill sites and producing more oil from fewer pads, while lessening the overall impact to Florida’s environment.

The Process

The horizontal drilling process begins by driving the surface casing into the rock, located well below the freshwater aquifer in order to protect the underground freshwater sources. A drill bit never comes into contact with the aquifer. This is followed by three additional layers of steel casing which are then placed inside the surface casing which are cemented further sealing off the oil well from any current or future drinking water sources. This telescoping of steel pipes and cement continues for approximately two miles to the oil formation.

Then, the drill pushes through the potential oil formation. If the presence of oil is confirmed, a specially-designed steerable drill is used to complete the well hole horizontally up to an additional 4,000 feet or more. The horizontal portion of the well then drains a much wider portion of the oil reservoir than could be drained with a vertical well; thus, reducing the number of drill pad sites that would be required with vertical wells.

To finish the process, an electric submersible pump is typically inserted into the well and the drilling rig is replaced with a small well head. The pump then pulls the oil from the formation and brings it to the surface.

Oil and natural gas supply more than 60 percent of our nation’s energy.

The oil industry provides more than 9.2 million American jobs, 267,277 in Florida alone.
The oil industry has invested $175 billion since 1990 toward improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations.
Currently, oil is the principal transportation fuel in the United States, accounting for more than 97 percent of the energy that powers our nation’s automobiles, airplanes and ships.
Oil is expected to remain the dominant fuel in our nation’s energy mix for decades.
Combined with natural gas production, the oil industry supports nearly 9.2 million American jobs, while providing millions of dollars to the economy through state and local revenue each day. 
The oil and natural gas industry contributes significantly to the U.S. economy as one of the nation’s largest employers and purchasers of goods. 
9.8 million people are directly or indirectly employed by the U.S. oil and natural gas industry.
Energy demand in the U.S. is expected to grow by 12 percent between now and 2040.
America’s oil and natural gas industry has a long-standing commitment to safety and protecting the environment. 
Since 1990, the oil and natural gas industry has invested $239 billion toward improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations
Oil and natural gas development has been safely conducted for more than 60 years.