The launch of the R&D program
Until the 1980s, it was more complicated and more costly to drill a directional well than a vertical one. Controlling the direction of the drill bit required numerous maneuvers and frequent stoppages to change the lower portion of the assembly — the part that made the ‘deviation’ possible — and to take direction measurements. No one ever imagined or wanted to risk exceeding the limit of a 60° to 70° angle. Too many headaches down that road! And then, as luck would have it, one day all of the conditions came together for a handful of drillers to take up the challenge. There were two big catalysts. One, we had our sights set on the Rospo Mare reservoir, which had to be produced but whose yield from vertical drilling was next to nothing. And two, we had the perfect site — the Lacq field — where we could drill test wells. From there, everything fell into place for us to break records and pull off a technological exploit.
Extract from the book Horizontal Drilling, the story of an industrial revolution (2016).
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