air drilling | Energy Glossary

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air drilling

1. n. [Drilling]

A drilling technique whereby gases (typically compressed air or nitrogen) are used to cool the drill bit and lift cuttings out of the wellbore, instead of the more conventional use of liquids. The advantages of air drilling are that it is usually much faster than drilling with liquids and it may eliminate lost circulation problems. The disadvantages are the inability to control the influx of formation fluid into the wellbore and the destabilization of the borehole wall in the absence of the wellbore pressure typically provided by liquids.

See: lost circulationmist drilling