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An integral part of the oil and gas industry since the 1920s, directional drilling is the practice of controlling a wellbore’s deviation and direction toward a predetermined underground location or target. Directional drilling is needed for several different applications, here are some drilling jobs:
- Multiple wells from a single location
- Inaccessible surface locations
- Multiple target zones
- Fault drilling
- Relief-well drilling
- Salt-dome exploration
- River-crossing applications
To operate a directional drill, you will need to undergo the proper training from a training school. Directional drillers are among the best-compensated positions. They are one of the highest-paid positions in the oilfield. To be a directional driller, you will need to have experience in the oilfields, be mathematically inclined, and be willing to travel frequently. Some directional drillers are gone for as long as 50 weeks a year when they are first starting out in these drilling jobs.
The Work Environment
Directional drillers either work on an offshore rig or on a land rig. There isn’t a typical workday in this role. One of the more critical times while on the job is when you are diverting the well from vertical to horizontal. A bad calculation when deciding when and how you are building an angle can mean the difference in proceeding or having to abandon days of work. A directional driller must be very focused on the job at hand. There are three main types of directional drills:
- Multilateral wells
- Extended reach wells
- Horizontal wells
Because of advanced technology, the computer is where most directional well-planning is done. Thanks to 3D visualization and 3D earth models, geoscientists and engineers have integrated and interactive tools that allow them to optimize, visualize and create wells using reservoir targets.
Drilling Jobs – Salary
According to CNNMoney, oil rig workers make slightly under$100,000 per year, but the annual salary can vary depending on the skills and experience of the worker. Oil drillers made an average salary of $99,175 per year as of 2011, but of course, salaries have increased during the last 7 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects more than average growth in the field, so there is expected to be a 16% increase in the number of directional drillers needed from 2016 to 2026. That is 2,500 more jobs for trained directional drillers.
ATS offers specialized training in directional drilling. The program includes classroom and field training to teach the operational skills you need to operate a directional drill safely and efficiently. To learn more about ATS specialized training and drilling jobs, call (800) 678-8149 today. One of our admissions specialists will help you determine if directional drilling is the right career path for your goals.