• Class and Course

    Horizontal, Extended Reach, and Multilateral Drilling

    Directional drilling technology is being pushed further with increasingly complex well paths, distant targets, and more difficult drilling environments. This technology is the heart of many unconventional resource plays. It is only with a full appreciation of the scope and limitation of directional techniques will drilling teams achieve success and avoid costly and time consuming mistakes. As existing fields mature and the complexity of new field development increases, the directional driller is no longer alone in determining the wellbore trajectory. An increasingly multidisciplinary team is now involved in each and every well design and placement decision.

    By the end of the course the participants should be able to apply the correct surveying techniques and directional placement methods to ensure the safe and accurate placement of complex and ERD wells, whilst making informed choices about the BHA design and selection of steering technology. Participants will learn different methods to deflect and steer wells to the target. Well placement calculations will be covered and attendees will learn to appreciate the importance of collision avoidance and learn the methods used to evaluate these risks. Hole cleaning problems and solutions will be addressed to ensure the participants appreciate the impact that this can have on the success of the well construction process. Several examples and exercises will be worked throughout the course.

    Participants will do class exercises with DrillPlan software to visualize and re-inforce concepts discussed in the class.

    Day 1

    Directional Drilling Fundamentals 

    • Applications and limitations
    • Algebra and trigonometry review
    • Terminology, well objectives, and target definition
    • Positioning and coordinate systems  

    On the first day participants will be given an overview of the applications of directional technology and its range of application.  There are many instances where wells have been placed in the wrong location because of misunderstandings between subsurface teams and rig positioning teams. These mistakes happen because often the teams are unaware of the complexity of cartography and positioning systems. This course will detail the basics of different mapping systems and will teach the participants how to avoid these common mistakes.

    Day 2

    Well Steering and Anti-Collision Management

    • Survey calculation methods
    • Anti-collision and trajectory management
    • Surveying tools
    • MWD, LWD and mudlogging  

    Directional drilling is too often seen as the science of steering the well to intersect the geological target, however it is arguably more important that directional drilling allows us to avoid colliding with existing wells. The poor understanding of the subject of anti-collision and the nature of the uncertainty of wellbore position leads, each year to catastrophic well to well collisions that cost millions of dollars to repair and clean up, but more importantly put the lives of the drilling crews at risk. The second day will develop in participants an understanding of each of the fundamental aspects of both steering to intersect a subsurface target and steering to avoid existing wells

    Day 3

    Wellbore Deflection 

    • Downhole drilling tools and deflection methods
    • Drilling motors and bit overview
    • BHA design and considerations
    • Rotary steerable systems

    On day three participants will gain an understanding of the basics of wellbore deflection and rotary steerable systems. Techniques like directional jetting and the use of openhole whip stocks, that may seem consigned to history are now returning to enable complex and high technology wells to be successfully drilled. Crowded mature platforms and high angle ERD wells pose unique challenges that will be explored.  The types of rotary steerable technology will be introduced and their applications and limitations will be discussed to allow the students to make informed decisions on the choice of steering system.

    Day 4

    Well Profile Designing 

    • Directional well path design
    • Horizontal well planning and calculations
    • Drill string design
    • Torque, drag, shocks and vibrations    

    Day four will look at the multiple options that are open to the well planner and examines the significance of each of the choices that can be made in the design of the profile of the well. The participants will be invited to look at the systematic way in which each section of a well must be planned and they will see the pitfalls of poor well planning.  The participants will also be invited to consider some of the differences in the physics of high angle drilling and then to use this knowledge to understand why assemblies designed for one hole section will not work in another.

    Day 5

    Potential Problems in Well Drilling

    • Hole cleaning
    • Geological considerations in ERD wells
    • Well profile, well path, and trajectory design
    • TAML junction definitions and their applicability to multilateral design
    • Multilateral well planning and drilling operations 
    • Directional drilling problems and solutions     

    On the last day, participants will look at the problems of geological positioning and the technique of geo-steering.  The principles of multilateral drilling will be introduced and some of the most common multilateral types will be covered.  The day will conclude with an exploration of some of the most common problems encountered in directional drilling and a summary of the material that has been covered over the five day course.   


    Drilling professionals and support staff who have a need to better understand and apply Directional Drilling concepts in design and operations of directional and multilateral wells.

    Directional surveying
    Well location calculation methods
    Deflection methods
    Anti-collision concepts
    LWD and mudlogging use in directional drilling
    Bottomhole assemblies and drill string tools used in directional drilling
    Concepts of torque and drag and shocks and vibrations
    Multilateral types
    Multilateral planning and proceedures
    Directional drilling problems

    Participants should have basic drilling engineering and well site operations experience. Prior exposure to directional drilling is recommended, but not required. Participants should also have good mathematic skills, particularly in trigonometry.


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