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Information on tungsten: sources, properties and uses

Deep Drilling

New technologies in deep drilling have extended the possibility of fossil energy exploration and production. Drill depths of up to 10 km are technically feasible today and new technologies render the possibility of a routed and directed drilling to hit any selected area of interest underground.  Undersea installations expand the goal of the petroleum industry of exploiting resources in progressively deeper waters which have previously been inaccessible. Cemented carbide equipped drill heads as well as carbide diamond tools are the crucial part of a complex system which has to withstand enormous operational demands (wear, corrosion), in particular the deeper they operate in the earth’s interior. Advanced drill heads are currently being developed which reduce the risk of premature material breakdown, and thus drilling costs. Recently, an increasing number of geothermal projects have been started to exploit the possibilities of geothermal energy and utilise it for clean and green energy. This is produced by digging deep wells and pumping the heated underground water or steam to the surface. Tungsten-containing drill heads are playing a major part.


© 2011 International Tungsten Industry Association
Copyright images courtesy of: OMV E&P (offshore wells); Hughes Christensen (PDC bits)