a brilliant description, now instead of talking about math we can use
this as a real-world comparison. Is a center point irrigation system
exactly like a well? – no, but the idea is the same. Just as a quick
note, this type of irrigation system was invented in the early
1940’s; some systems have pipe lengths of over 1,600′. In addition to
the math and this agricultural analog, there are multiple examples of
horizontal sparge/injection wells, many exceeding hundreds of feet in
length, operating successfully in the US (check out the Battelle
final program for both posters and platform presentations on the
Let’s get back to the math for a second. Is designing a horizontal
sparge/injection well difficult? It could be, but remember it’s fluid
dynamics, not black magic. Most environmental consultants have staff
capable of working out the details.
OK, now that we’ve discussed horizontal sparge wells let’s tackle a
couple of other misconceptions:
technology is new and experimental – the first documented use of
horizontal directional drilling (HDD) being used for
environmental remediation is in May of 1987 at a UST site in
Ponca City, OK1 . The same report (dated April of 1996) that
identifies the first well, documents 231 other wells not
completed by DTD. We have completed over 850 horizontal
environmental wells. Drilex/Longbore installed 76 and one other
horizontal environmental drilling company claims over 1,000
completions on their web site. That rough total is over 2,000
wells – hardly a new or experimental technology. One thing to
note – the last "official" horizontal well catalog we
can locate is twenty-two years old.
wells are difficult – they were at first, but things have
changed, technology and tooling are better, and drillers are
more experienced. Without going into minutia; in 2017 DTD
completed twenty-eight blind well installations ranging in
length from 76′ to over 950′. Moreover, most of the blind wells
were less 300′ in length, completed under buildings using small
or mid-sized rigs.
hope this has helped explain some of the misconceptions regarding
horizontal environmental wells. They aren’t experimental and are not
impossible to design. If you still have concerns, contact your local
horizontal environmental driller for more details.
1. Horizontal Environmental Wells in the United States:
A Catalog. Published by the Colorado Center for Environmental
Management. April 1996.