Directional Drilling: Three Important Tips for Avoiding Common Fluid Mishaps

When preparing for your horizontal directional drilling work, you should discuss the drilling fluid needs with your specialist contractor. In general, drilling fluid refers to a combination of water and special additives. The resulting mixture allows for the directional drilling process to proceed smoothly. Simply speaking, the fluid will lubricate the tooling used in boring and keep the components cool, despite the friction. The material will also minimise wear and damage to the pipes, reducing the maintenance and repair demands during the drilling period. Additionally, the slurry formed will ensure that the horizontal holes are stabilised. However, you should note that the choices made during drilling fluid usage will determine the final results. Here are some essential tips to remember for effective fluid usage in directional drilling projects.

Prepare the Right Mix

The right drilling fluid is essential for directional drilling to ensure a good outcome. In general, the formulation of the material involves combining water and additives. If you would like to guarantee good results, you must choose the right additives to match your drilling conditions. Moreover, the proportion of mixing must be suitable for the work. The primary additives utilised in horizontal drilling are bentonite bases and polymer additives. The right choice will depend on the ground or soil conditions. Therefore, consider conducting a geological assessment and using those results when choosing an additive. For instance, bentonite is favoured for loose soil while polymers are more compatible with clay-like or cohesive soils. Also, consider engaging a specialist for handling the mixing process. Do not use a random worker because maintaining the perfect drilling fluid is challenging.

Check the Water Quality

The quality of water used during the directional drilling project will influence the performance of the fluid. Therefore, evaluate the water source for your work and conduct quality assessments before proceeding. In general, drilling fluid does not require exceptional water, but the mixture will not work if the water is hard. The presence of calcium salts will prevent the proper mixing of additives. If your supply produces hard water, plan for adjustment by incorporating soda ash or other softeners.

Ensure Adequate Flow

Finally, make sure that the flow of drilling fluid is adequate for effective boring. If the solution does not move through the equipment as expected, the available mud to facilitate drilling will be insufficient. This problem will slow down drilling and increase the risk of equipment breakdown. Therefore, ensure that your slurry pumps are in good condition for optimal fluid flow.

For more information, contact a directional drilling service near you.