• How does Viper Drill differ from jetting?

    Unlike jetting systems that spray pressurized fluid out of a nozzle in an attempt to erode the rock, we cut the rock formation mechanically using a rotating PDC bit. Think of it as the difference between drilling a 1½” hole through a 2x4 with a drill bit versus with a pressure washer.

  • Can it work in open-hole wells?

    Yes, we can work in most open-hole wells. In fact, open-hole is preferable to the extent that it saves time & cost of having to mill through the casing -- savings we pass along to the operator.

  • Is their a grade or size limit on the casing?

    We can cut all common grades and weights of casing. In regards to minimum casing size, right now, because we drill out at literally 90 degrees we need at least 5½ inch casing. In the future we plan to drill out at an angle, which will allow us to reach further and go into smaller diameter casing.

  • Is their a depth limitation?

    Our current unit is equipped with a reel that will allow us to go 7,000 ft. Future units will be able to reach deeper.

  • Any plans to drill 4½inch casing or to drilling out further?

    Currently we can only drill out of 5 ½ inch or larger casing. We are working on tools that will allow us to drill out of 4½ inch , but it wont be at a full 90 degrees. We are also working on tools for 5½ inch and larger casing that will allow us to drill out even further (over 2X further)—but not at a full 90 degrees. On 7 inch casing we think our current tools can hit 50 - 60 feet at 90 degrees.

  • Can I get a self-use License or Partner with Viper Drill for an exclusive territory?

    Yes, you can find a little more info about our Partnering Program, here.  But just give us a call or send an e-mail… we would enjoy talking to you.

  • How does it compare to fracking?

    This is a good but involved question… so our answer will just hit on the high points. Viper Drill compares favorably to many fracks and re-fracks and can be used in the many instances where fracking is not feasible—whether for economic, technical or legal reasons. Fracks, of course have the advantage of establishing far-reaching connectivity. Unfortunately, fracks often deliver suboptimal or short-lived conductivity-- that is, frack pathways are still tortuous and prone to ‘healing’– to closing-in. The fact that fracks ‘heal’ should not be too surprising as fracking essentially entails trying to shove additional material (proppant) where it does not want to be. By contrast, Viper Drill removes material, leaving a large diameter, laminar flow tunnel back to your wellbore. Actually, we believe the perfect well completion scenario is to frack out of Viper Drill laterals as this would produce large, straight flow tunnels near the wellbore fed by deep reaching fracture network. Truly, the best of both worlds.

  • How far can you drill out?

    We’ve drilled out to 32.5 ft. in 5½ inch casing… but, since we drill out in multiple directions, this really means we’ve produce a virtual ‘drain’ on the scale of 60+ feet. Notably, in more spacious 7 or 9 inch casing, we believe we can drill out 50 - 60 feet or more in each direction… equating to a 100+ foot diameter virtual drain.

  • How long does it take?

    Once the well has been prepared and the whipstock placed downhole, it typically takes about 1 to 1½ days per lateral— the key factors being the depth of the target and speed at which the particular rock drills. This assumes a day-light hour only, operations. These times can obviously be shortened by running a 2nd shift.

  • Is it expensive?

    Our system is very affordable compared to many other stimulation procedures and we try to pass along savings to our customers when we can. For example, we pass along savings when working on shallower, open-hole or multiple wells packages. As you might expect pricing is based on the number of laterals/zones, target depth and drilling time of the laterals. Currently, typical costs for services in the U.S. range from about $40k to $75k/well.

  • So, is 30 feet enough?

    The first few feet past the wellbore are the most critical and each successive foot thereafter brings ‘less to the party’. The critical area to overcome is the near wellbore area– the area within about 3 to 10 ft of the wellbore. This area often act as the de-facto choke and is the area most prone to damage. Turning to the numbers, black-oil flow models show an about 29% increase in ultimate recovery with just four 30 foot laterals.

  • Why should we use Viper Drill when most radial jet drilling companies advertise 300 feet?

    This question presupposes jet-drilling’s 300 ft claims are true. We believe some healthy skepticism is warranted here; and, the old adage, out of sight out of mind has particular applicability here, since its anyone’s guess where the jetting hose really goes downhole. This was one of the primary reasons we participated in the RPSEA study– to get independent 3rd party validation on our laterals. The RPSEA study also showed that improvements in production (with 300 ft vs. 30 ft) are not as high as one might suspect. Click here for a comparison between Viper Drill and Jet Drilling and here for more details on the RPSEA study.

Viper Drill EOR Technology