ConocoPhillips Canada

Horizontal Drilling

Sometimes when the way of doing things is becoming tired, you just have to go at them from another direction. Such is the case with horizontal drilling. Historically wells in the Western Canada region were drilled down, expending a lot of energy and returning mixed results in a mature area. Horizontal drilling shifts the process by 180 degrees.

A horizontal well, which would really look like a giant “J” as it goes down and is then pushed parallel to the ground, means we have access to a greater portion of the rock formation and potentially more natural gas or oil reserves. Because the method opens up a greater land area to access, it takes less energy and requires fewer wells – which means less footprint. It’s another win-win.

In our Western Canada business unit, where our assets are mature and very well developed, our horizontal drilling program is unlocking new potential. In 2012, the majority of the wells drilled in the area were horizontal and returned great results.