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Well Development

Developing a well is the process of removing fine soil particles, drill cuttings, and residual drilling mud from the well screen and borehole annulus in order to establish a good hydraulic connection with the surrounding formation.

Well development is made easier by proper drilling fluid selection and by minimizing the volume of mud used during the drilling process. Bentonite or other high-solids muds are infrequently used for horizontal wells due to the difficulties involved in removing them from the borehole during development. Recently developed drilling fluids from CETCO and others are specially formulated to provide the needed viscosity and lubricity in a biodegradable form.

Well Development Techniques

Wells may be developed using several techniques. Directed Technologies Drilling, Inc. chooses the best technique to match the type of casing being installed and the desired end use of the well.

For instance, jetting a well constructed with a composite filter or pre-pack screen is generally pointless, because the desired jetting effect never reaches the borehole walls. A regimen of flushing, pumping, and the introduction of an enzyme to “break” the drilling mud provides the best results in most cases, without incurring excessive labor costs.

Additional information may be obtained from “Basics of Soil Remediation,” co-written by DTD staff and available from Vermeer Manufacturing.