In the tradition of other papers that have reviewed horizontal technology and experience (1,2,3), this paper will present a relatively current summary of the status of horizontal drilling. The result of an extensive review of the published literature, careful study of numerous post-well reports, and personal conversations with drilling engineers and directional drilling supervisors who have conducted horizontal drilling operations, the following brief discussions of case histories describe a variety of drilling methods which were used in oilfields in various parts of the world.

It will be evident that in the past few years great strides have been made to advance horizontal drilling in three main disciplines. These are:

  1. Well planning

  2. Drilling mechanics, and

  3. Rig site operations

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