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How to Get A Job As A Directional Driller In The Oilfield
Directional drillers earn good money and there is a need for them in the modern oil and gas industry.
What Does A Directional Driller Do?
This is necessary to calculate the amount of bend
that is needed in the mud motor (which drills wells horizontally) and to know
how long and in what direction to point it as the well is turned horizontally
Directional drilling is used to reach pockets of oil from a single offshore oil platform, so that additional platforms are not required. These wells are often not true horizontal wells, but directional drillers are required.
Shale gas formations, such as the Marcellus Shale are an important new source of natural gas. There are many here in the United States. The Marcellus shale alone holds over 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Directional drilling is used to bore sideways across shale and also coal beds to release natural gas and methane. Directional drilling accounts for more than 80% of all new gas wells drilled in the Northeastern United States. In areas such as the Barnett Shale, near Fort Worth, that number is nearly 100%. Directional drillers are needed for this type of work, though recently the price of natural gas has been low, thus hampering drilling activity.
Directional drillers are used to deviate wells, to correct wells back to vertical, to drill vent holes for coal mines and even river crossings for power and communication cables. Non oilfield directional drilling occurs throughout the world. Wages for non oilfield directional drilling are not as high but are still competitive with similar engineering jobs.
Do You Have What It Takes To Become A Directional Driller?
If you are willing to train for up to several years, have a strong oilfield or engineering background, are good at working in high stress environments and don't mind being away from home for weeks on end, then the job of directional drilling may be right for you.
For More about how oil wells are drilled horizontally see: How Wells Are Drilled Horizontally