A vertical, or deviated, well, remains in a reservoir for a short distance only. Horizontal wells remain in the producing formation for several hundred meters, providing better productivity conditions.

ELF AQUITAINE and IFP (French Institute of Petroleum) have initiated, in 1978, a research project aimed at very progressively solving the drilling and completion problems encountered when drilling a horizontal well.

Several wells have been drilled and successfully completed, down to a 3000 m vertical depth. The offshore field of Rospo Mare, in Italy, is now being developed with horizontal wells drilled close to the top of the formation, to avoid water coning.

Numerous other applications are envisaged or have been realized by various international Companies in the USA, EUROPE and ASIA, through the services of HORWELL, a company created by ELF AQUITAINE and IFP to make their newly developed techniques available to the oil industry.

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