Directional drilling in hard rock drills more: 8400 ft (2560.3 m) in hard rock


Everything is bigger in Texas, and Hard Rock Directional Drilling’s order in Midland, Texas proves it. Using two Vermeer® horizontal directional drills (HDDs) and a pair of Vermeer reclaimers, the San Antonio HDD specialists did more than most teams—installing 8,414 feet (2,564.6 m) of 30-inch (76. 2cm). in rocks along a busy highway.

According to owner Robert Myers, planning was key to the success of this job. That and the fact that he employs highly skilled and trained crew members and provides them with the resources they need to get the job done. “We’re working in rock all the time and we’ve drilled a lot of long holes and opened up some pretty wide holes. But this special job is unforgettable because it combines all the qualities that make a job challenging. The Midland well is a project that no one at Hard Rock Directional Drilling will soon forget,” said Myers.

Project overview

The Midland well was part of a 4.5 mile (7.2 km) pipeline installed by Fasken Oil and Gas to transport oil, gas and water from wells to a Fasken facility. The Fasken Oil and Gas team and general contractor Kingsley Constructors, Inc. ordered Hard Rock Directional Drilling because the pipeline would pass through Midland and cross two highways that would extend 8,400 feet (2,560.3 m).

The Hard Rock Directional Drilling crew wasn’t intimidated by the length. They recently completed a longer well in Kemah, Texas – 11,600 feet (3535.7 m). It was the weight of the steel pipe that they were concerned about. “We knew we would go the distance and we also knew we would have a good hole to work with because it was in solid rock, but we had to make sure we had a rig that could pull that weight back,” said Hard Cory Baker, general manager of Rock Directional Drilling. Luckily, their Vermeer D1000x900 HDD was able to do the job.

Two drill bits for efficient drilling

In order to drill as efficiently as possible, the team elected to use a drill on each side with a planned intersection near the center of the hole. They installed the Vermeer D1000x900 on the Midland side of the well path and used a Vermeer D500x500 on the exit side. They outfitted the drills with 8-inch (20.3 cm) mud motors and 12 3/4-inch (32.3 cm) drill bits to drill the pilot hole through sandstone and limestone, which took 12 days to an average depth of 60 feet (18 .3 m) lasted ).

The crew also used the drills to open the hole to a diameter of 48 inches (121.9 cm). “We made a total of three passes with hole openers,” Baker said. “We made a run with 24, 36 and 48 inch (6, 91.4 and 121.9 cm) hole openers while pumping about 1200 gallons (4542.5 L) of fluid per minute into the hole. The crews at both ends pumped to make sure we cleared all the clippings out of the hole and we had a Vermeer R9x12T reclaimer on either side so we could save as much water as possible.”

Hard Rock Directional Drilling used approximately 180,000 gallons (681,374.1 L) of water and a mixture of bentonite and a higher molecular weight polymer additive to flush drill cuttings from the well during the 84-day project.

A successful job

After completing three passes of hole openers, the crew connected the 1.7 million pound (771,107 kg) retractable tubing string to their Vermeer D1000x900. It took them just 23 hours and a maximum pulling force of just under 272,155.4 kg (600,000 lb) to pull the 76.2 cm (30 inch) pipe into place.

“Everything went fantastic,” Baker said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our crew and the work they do. Working with Fasken Oil and Gas and Kingsley Constructors was also excellent. All three of our organizations have worked together to make this work a success. It’s a story we will all share for years to come.”

This article contains observations, advice, or experiences of third parties, which do not necessarily represent the opinion of Vermeer Corporation, its affiliates, or its distributors. Testimonials and/or endorsements by contractors in specific circumstances may not be representative of normal circumstances experienced by all customers.

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