Laser Drilled Laterals

Laser Drilled Laterals
Laser Drilled Laterals

Laser Drilled Laterals (LDL)


Laser drilling complies with industry safety standards. It fits into existing well intervention equipment such as small diameter coil tubing or umbilicals. It offers an in-situ, real-time, fully controlled procedure with video and spectroscopy feedback to the operator, with no wearing parts, no chemicals, and low maintenance, whilst maintaining formation integrity via a permeable yet strong, fused borehole wall.


ZerLux, Inc. is developing an underbalanced downhole laser drilling application; a cutting-edge technology for enhanced recovery from existing wells. The system comprises a laser generator (at surface) and a specially designed directional laser drilling head attached to a coiled tubing or an umbilical system.

The high power laser tool superheats the subsurface formation, melts the rock matrix, and will remove the molten debris while the borehole is being drilled, meanwhile creating a durable borehole wall of adjustable permeability.

LDL is especially well suited for drilling laterals from existing wells in a single work phase, drilling through the casing, cement, and the formation as well with one tool in and out. No whipstock is required and no mechanical force is required to drill.

Multiple short-radius tightly controlled laterals can be created with each one up to 80 feet in length.

LDL is a highly versatile technology with a range of potential applications in the following fields:

  • Low-cost access to otherwise bypassed reserves
  • Increased productivity, especially from low permeability reservoirs
  • Controlled borehole permeability to seal out unwanted fluids
  • The fused borehole wall is structurally stable and provides sand control capability
  • Real-time formation analysis during drilling
  • Underbalanced drilling of laterals reduces formation damage and allows continued production during drilling
  • Drilling in thin reservoirs where hydraulic fracturing carries high risk
  • Drilling from small platforms where high cost rigs are not economical or technically feasible
  • Finding and precisely adding new intervals in depleted reservoirs
  • Bypassing near wellbore damage – beyond the range of conventional perforating
  • Eventual consideration for controlled fracturing.

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Laser Drilled Laterals