Explained: Horizontal Drilling

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Some companies utilize horizontal drilling, a drilling process in which a well is first drilled vertically and then the drill bit turns at an angle and eventually continues horizontally in a contiguous lateral direction. A horizontal well resembles an exaggerated letter “J.” In comparison, a vertical well resembles an “I,” providing only a single branch point from one well head. A horizontal well is thus able to reach a much wider area of shale rock underground with less disturbance at the surface.

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