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An operator in India experienced a drop in gas production in a high dogleg severity land well in a coalbed methane field. They needed to sidetrack a 6-in. borehole in the complicated well. The planned well was greater than 90° inclination in a narrow coal seam. The goal was to maximize reservoir exposure in the long lateral (2,297 ft/700 m) and boost production.

Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE), was engaged to drill the top-hole and sidetrack the well. The BHGE Drilling Services team deployed the BHGE Navi-Drill™ Ultra Xtreme™ and BHGE Ultra Xtreme IR directional drilling motors with the APS Tech Sureshot™ EM directional and gamma measuring-while-drilling (MWD) service to deliver real-time directional information required to drill the 8½-in. top-hole section and then perform the 6-in. whipstock sidetrack in the narrow coal seam. Geosteering within the coal seam boundaries was achieved with maximum possible reservoir exposure (2,034 ft out of 2,998 ft, or 620 m out of 700.3 m) of 88.5% using the BHGE OnTrak™ integrated MWD and logging-while-drilling (LWD) system to ensure accurate measurements close to the bit. High stresses in the 6-in. section were identified by the BHGE SysPro™ advanced torque and drag analysis system. The BHGE AutoTrak™ rotary closed-loop system was used with the 6-in. bit to drill the 2,998 ft (700.4 m) section lateral (the well MD was 4,448 ft, or 1,355.9 m).

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Challenges & Results


  • Sidetrack needed in a 6-in. borehole
  • 90° inclination in a narrow coal seam
  • High dogleg severity
  • High ECD of 10.75 ppg


  • Completed 2,034 ft (620 m) sidetrack
  • Achieved maximum reservoir exposure of 88.5%
  • Performed the area’s first open-hole sidetrack in a coal seam on first attempt