Dry Hole

Published: April 30, 2018 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Dry Hole Mean?

Dry hole is a condition that occurs in horizontal directional drilling (HDD) when there is insufficient drilling fluid available to lubricate the drilling tools.

Drilling fluid, also known as drilling mud, is circulated through the HDD system throughout the drilling process. But there are times when the a lack of drilling mud could put the operation at risk.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Dry Hole

Lubricants are common in many industries and are used in a wide variety of settings. Their common function is to minimize friction created as moving parts interact with each other. In trenchless construction, one of the most common lubricants is drilling fluid. Without this fluid mixture, which usually includes bentonite, the friction that occurs in the drilling operation could damage the equipment.

One possible cause of dry hole conditions is a difference in elevation between the entry and exit points of the borehole. Gravity may cause a higher section of the hole to be without drilling mud. Dry hole conditions can also result from trying to advance the borehole too quickly.


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