Horizontal drilling is technology that enables drilling rigs to direct the drill bit to curve from a well until it is 90 degrees from the vertical hole. By doing this drillers can drill a lateral leg from a well that can be thousands of feet in length within the target pay zone.
So instead of having 10 to 20 feet of pay zone open thousands of feet are exposed. The advantages are several:
1) One well can replace several wells,
2) There is a smaller footprint,
3) It is much more likely that you can hit sweet spots within the reservoir,
4) Initial production can be 10 times that of a vertical well,
5) There is more ultimate recovery, 5 - 7 times that of a vertical well,
6) Horizontal wells can produce in reservoirs that were once considered to be depleted or non-commercial,
7) While very few horizontal wells have been drilled in Illinois those that have been drilled have an impressive production record.
8) Horizontal wells are responsible for the revitalization of oil production in North America.
9) Given the proper prospect horizontal drilling can still be very profitable even with the price of crude oil in the low $30's.
IBHD will initially concentrate its efforts in drilling horizontal wells within the confines of existing oil fields that have a large number of proven reserves. In most oilfields 70-90 percent of the original oil in place remains un-recovered even after a well has run "dry". This is due to the characteristics of an oil field. The porosity and permeability are not uniform and can result in reservoir compartmentalization. By drilling a horizontal well we can produce oil from these untapped areas.
Our first well, the NEFU/Mascher #1 HOR, has confirmed our thoeries within the context of the St. Louis Limestone Reservoir. It appears that despite past production in the area we have encountered areas within our lateral that appear to be untapped. This well is in the final stages of testing and should be on pump soon.