Actual Well Path

Published: May 13, 2017 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Actual Well Path Mean?

An actual well path is defined as the path taken by a bore hole at the time of the drilling operation. The actual well path can differ from the planned well path due to unforeseen physical conditions at the time of drilling. In trenchless technology, different methods of directional drilling are used to lay underground pipelines without digging a trench.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Actual Well Path

Factors that can change the intended, or planned, well path include cost, existing bore paths or wells, soil and rock properties, drag, and torque. Utilizing automated directional drilling, it is now possible to change the well path to optimize the drilling process and, as a result, decrease associated project costs. During the process of drilling directional wells, the actual well path should be constantly checked to ensure it is following the planned trajectory. If there is a deviation, the well should be brought back to the original path using a orientation tool. However, it is practically impossible to maintain the planned well path absolutely as often times unforeseen conditions arise that force the operator to deviate from the original path.


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