Drilling In Clay: 3 Tips For Avoiding A Sticky Situation

directional drilling

Directional drilling one of the top drilling methods in the United States. In fact, the global HDD market estimate for 2022 is $14.95 billion.


Yet even a popular drilling method like HDD can sometimes meet its match. That is, with clay soils.


Drilling With Clay: How To Fight Back


Clay is no one’s friend except in a pottery class. Clay soils mean hefty challenges, which can keep your directional drilling from going to plan. That said, there are a few common ways you may be able to fight back against these sticky situations.


If you know you’re headed for an area with clay soils, here are a few a few tips to keep your project up and running.


  1. Use the right tools. It can be a problem if you’ve already begun drilling and you’ve hit clay soils. But if you know you’re going to be drilling in clay, it’s best to have your equipment prepared. The right drilling tools can make their way through the density of the soil without clumping.
  2. Find the best additives. Clay likes water. Unfortunately, drilling with fluids that are 90% water can make things messy. That’s where additives come in. Different types of clay react to different types of additives. So it’s important to consider both before choosing a specific additive. The most common additives for drilling in clay include polymers and surfactants. You can also use flocculants and thinners.
  3. Outsource a directional drilling contractor. It can be near impossible to drill through clay without the right tools and additives. But it can also be a financial headache to buy new equipment for a single project. When you outsource a contractor, you don’t need to worry about the equipment. In fact, outsourcing a contractor is helpful because you get the latest technology. You also get a team to focus on the drilling while you focus on the rest of your project.


American Directional Boring can provide you with the Texas directional drilling services you need whether or not you’re dealing with clay soils. To learn more about our services or to talk to one of our Texas directional boring contractors, contact American Directional Boring today.

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