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6 ways to ensure efficiency of directional drilling equipment

Directional drilling is a steerable trenchless method of installing underground pipe, conduit, or cables in a shallow arc along a prescribed bore path by using a surface-launched drilling rig, with minimal impact on the surrounding area. Taking good care of the drilling equipment is paramount for optimum efficiency. Here are some tips to help keep your directional drilling equipment in top shape for its next project:

Troubleshooting tips during operation
Preplanning is key in directional drilling to avoid any problems in the field. But issues can arise, and often times the cause can be plugged tooling. Look out of loss of cuttings, a spike in mud pressure or a hot reading on the beacon are some of the indicators that something is wrong in terms of the tooling being plugged off.

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Make sure drill operators are properly trained
Staying within the drill limits, without pushing the drill too fast will help prevent pipe from coming back bent, or pipe that doesn’t come back at all.

Know the ground conditions
It can be difficult to properly maintain equipment if it’s not even well suited for the job. Selecting the right tooling and fluids for a directional bore will not only help operators complete a job successfully but also minimize the amount of wear on equipment.

Rotate your drill pipe
Said to be the most wearable item on a directional drill, the drill pipe should be rotated throughout the string to ensure even wearing. The pipe may not necessarily be expensive, but keeping it serviceable will determine the quality and standards of projects undertaken.

Use drilling fluid
Just like any other equipment, friction hastens wearing of the drill pipe, especially when used without the drilling fluids. The boring distance should not be used to determine whether one should use the drilling fluid or go ahead and work without. Moreover, drilling fluid ensures longevity in the equipment as well as completion of work in the set time limits.

Use quality makeup water
You may have selected the right formula of drilling fluid for the job, but if you’re not careful about your water source, you may still find yourself vulnerable to potential equipment damage.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for this advice for making sure that directional drilling equipment will be efficient. You mentioned that the boring distance shouldn’t determine if someone should use the drilling fluid. That said, I’m interested to learn if more drilling fluid would be needed the further the drilling needed to go.

  2. Now if I had to do some drilling, I would for sure go with someone who had the proper equipment to do so. Going off what you said, the drill operator should know the ground conditions they are working in. That way, they won’t be using the wrong drill type for the ground, thus causing delays and slow work.

  3. I would agree that preplanning plays a big role in having effective drilling projects. Hitting pre-existing pipes can cause a lot of extra work you don’t want. Make sure you have a good knowledge before starting to drill.

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