This paper elaborates on development of horizontal drilling technology for coalbed methane (CBM) in China, from the perspective of optimization of well structure, well path control, and underbalanced drilling. Based on the research and application results of horizontal drilling for CBM, a few advices are presented.

Since the coal bed in China is characterized with low pressure, low permeability, low saturation and strong anisotropy, horizontal drilling is becoming a favorable choice in CBM development. The horizontal drilling technique and remote intersection technique have been applied successfully in CBM development in Qinshui Basin, proving good results in enhancing drilling efficiency, protecting the reservoir, as well as lowering the cost of drilling.

With the rapid development of CBM industry in China, researches on horizontal drilling, U-shaped wells, and multibranched wells have been carried out, covering new techniques research, software development and equipments invention. The horizontal drilling techniques that are suitable for China CBM development have formed, which drives the CBM industry to a future of low risks, low investment, high efficiency and high yield.

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