Development of a Water Jet Drilling System and Preliminary Evaluations of Its Performance in a Stress Situation Underground


Stephens, H. S.


Research into the application of high pressure water jets as a means of improving the drilling rate in rock has been carried out in several locations for the last ten years. Experiments have been tried in oil well drilling, for example, down to depths of over 5,000 m. with steel shot used in addition to the high pressure water jets and at depths over 2,000 m. using high pressure jet cutting alone at pressures up to 1,000 bar. In 1974 the Rock Mechanics and Explosives Center of the University of Missouri-Rolla was funded under contract to the U. S. Energy and Development Administration to develop water jet drilling designs which would allow for the more rapid development of geothermal deposits within the United States. The emphasis to be placed on the research was in application to the drilling of the harder rocks, such as granite, which are more typically found in geothermal sites rather than the softer sedimentary rocks which are more frequently found when drilling for oil and gas deposits. A secondary problem relating to the use of high pressure jets is that laboratory data indicates that the change in stress field applied to a rock changes the resistance of that rock to jet cutting. With this in mind tests have been initiated in cooperation with the St. Joe Mineral Corporation to determine the effect of stress on drilling rate, using high pressure water jets.

Meeting Name

4h International Symposium on Jet Cutting Technology (1978: Apr. 12-14, Kent, England)


Mining Engineering

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1978 BHRA Group, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1978

This document is currently not available here.