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Home > Alberta's Resource Inventory > Hydrocarbons > Crude Oil > Resource Development > Completion and Servicing > Oil Recovery Methods > New Drilling Techniques

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New Drilling Techniques

Horizontal Well SimulatorDue to increasing concern about environmental impact, directional wells are often used for infill drilling. In contrast to traditional vertical wells, directional wells use a slanted or curved (deviated) wellbore. More than one directional well can be drilled from a common drilling pad.

Horizontal drilling, which extends the wellbore into a much larger portion of the oil-bearing formation, has been employed since the late 1980s to improve production and enhance recovery. Horizontal drilling increases production rates by contacting more reservoir. This increases oil recovery and may reduce the amount of water and gas mixed with the oil. Environmental impacts are reduced because fewer well sites are needed.

New drilling techniques also make it possible to drill a number of horizontal offshoots from a single, vertical, directional or horizontal wellbore. This is called multiple entry and has proved useful in many types of oil and gas formations.

Petroleum Communication Foundation. Our Petroleum Challenge: Exploring Canada's Oil and Gas Industry, Sixth Edition. Calgary: Petroleum Communication Foundation, 1999. With permission from the Centre for Energy.


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