Common Drilling Methods


Everyone knows that oil and fossil fuels come from under the ground, but people may not know how they get there.

There are several drilling methods that drillers employ to get oil and fossil fuels from under the ground and get them to a refinery. Knowing the different methods helps you understand the process better.

Here’s what you need to know about the most commonly used drilling methods in the industry. Read on!

Auger Drilling Method

The Auger drilling method is a common type of drilling that employs the use of a helical screw. This screw is placed into the ground and turned by a drill in order to create a borehole. This method is most commonly used in the following:

  • construction
  • geotechnical engineering
  • mineral exploration
  • environmental contamination

It has proven to be an effective tool for a wide range of projects. Auger drilling relies on the bit at the end of the helix to make contact with the substrate surface. It then creates a hole by removing material from the surface. It can also employ a range of auger sizes and extends to depths that other methods may not be able to achieve. 

Directional Drills

Directional drills, also known as horizontal directional drilling (HDD), is a type of underground drilling. This is used for the construction of pipelines and cables. This non-destructive drilling method allows utility lines or pipes to be installed in the following:

  • across roads
  • under rivers
  • congested areas

This is where traditional open-cut methods would be impractical or damaging. If you’re thinking about how directional drills work, it uses a drill string with a bent piece mounted onto the bit.

By controlling the angle and direction of the bend, the drill bit can traverse obstacles in the path of the bore and reliably steer the drill string in the desired direction. 

Percussion Drilling Method

The percussion drilling method is a widely used technique of drilling in which a rotary bit is attached to a drill string of long rods and driven down into the ground with continuous blows, usually by a weighted hammer. This technique is commonly used for creating holes in both hard and soft rock formations, as well as for creating shallow wells for water and other surface material.

Its advantage is that it can create accurate, straight wells and can be used both onshore and offshore. In this method, the drill string is pulled up and down in short intervals while the hammer powers the drill bit with repeated strikes. The bit shatters the surrounding rock while rotating, allowing it to penetrate deeper.

Downhole Hammer Drilling Method

Downhole Hammer Drilling (DHD) is a common technical drilling method used in the oil and gas drilling industry. This method is often preferred over other techniques due to its efficient time and cost-effectiveness, as well as its capability of generating larger hole sizes when compared to other methods.

The DHD method requires a drill pipe to be used to transfer pressurized drilling fluid to the required depth and a downhole hammer or motor that provides a reciprocating drilling force to penetrate harder rock layers. The drilling fluid carries the drill cuttings to the surface, and the entire system is monitored and adjusted in situ using telemetry. 

Jetted Drilling Method

The jetted drilling method is an effective and safe way of drilling and sampling subsurface soils and rocks. It involves the use of pressurized water, also called jetting, to drill boreholes and collect solid sample material. The jetting pressure is applied through a nozzle, and the mixture of water and sample material is aspirated up a closed tubing system.

This method is useful in areas of shallow depth and unconsolidated overburden requiring minimal or no casing. This solution allows for an efficient means of sample collection and logging as the jetted material flows through the inner and outer pipes.

The jetted drilling method is cost-effective and low-impact, making it a preferred drilling technique in certain geotechnical conditions. For hard or complex soil formations, other methods, such as reverse circulation drilling, should be considered.

Air Rotary drilling method

The air rotary drilling method, also called the direct circulation method, is the most common drilling method used in mineral exploration. It is used to drill through solid rock. The most popular uses for air rotary drilling are for core sample extraction or identification of subsurface saturation.

It is most popular because it is cost-effective, relatively fast, and highly accurate. Air rotary drilling involves using a drill bit that turns while pressurized air from the surface is passed through it.

The air flushes out the drilled material and pushes it through the air circulation system up to a pipe string, where it is removed from the borehole. It has been the traditional method for drilling geological test holes for many years. 

Cable Tool Method

The weight is then dropped onto the drill bit, which produces a cracking effect as it penetrates the rock or earth. Rock particles and sediment are then discharged up the borehole. This process can be repeated to the desired depth of the hole.

Advantages of the cable method include its low cost, short setup times, and its ability to reach deep depths. It’s also able to produce large, straight holes with a very flat floor. However, this method is slower and more labor-intensive than other methods and is not suitable for hard rocks or compliant formations. 

Downhole Hammer Drilling Method

The system uses high-pressure air, water, or steam to power a hammer drill, which then drives a bit into the material to be drilled. The drill bit is typically straight with a chisel-shaped head that aids in creating an optimal borehole.

The downhole hammer drilling method is often used in the mining industry for drilling blast holes and for water boreholes. It uses low fluid volumes, and thus, it is economically efficient compared to other methods, such as rotary and diamond drilling. 

Learn More About Drilling Today

Drilling is an essential part of many industrial, manufacturing, and construction processes. Knowing more about the drilling process can give you a better understanding of the important roles it plays in our daily lives.

If you’re interested in learning more about drilling, contact a professional to find out more about the range of drilling products and services.

Visit our blog for more!

Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video