Benefits Of Equipment Diversity

By Robert Carpenter, Editor | September 2012, Vol. 67 No. 9

The examples are endless as are the solutions for the problems of current-day underground infrastructure. Of course, there are a few remaining limitations and sometimes such broad capabilities may be considered a curse when a project goes bad for whatever reason or owners have unrealistic expectations. But for the most part, the industry can take pride in its ability to deal with demands of the varied and complicated underground infrastructure market.

Big is back

America’s shale play for oil and gas has been well-chronicled. “Fracing” technology has allowed horizontal wells to release heretofore unimaginable quantities of oil and gas upon the U.S. market, all produced domestically for primary use within America’s borders. Just a few short years ago, no one would have dreamed that kind of energy security was possible. Now, depending upon how we react to our vast new energy treasure trove, the U.S. has a real chance of obtaining substantial energy independence in a relatively short period of time.

Of course, connecting all of the new wells requires a vast, new or expanded infrastructure bringing contractors a wealth of work. And horizontal directional drilling is playing a key role. In fact, in some ways, HDD has now come full circle.

HDD started out as a “big rig” technology for installing large diameter oil and gas pipelines across major rivers. As the technology caught on and evolved, it was “downsized” to become applicable for the telecom boom of the 90s along with about every other type and size of pipe/conduit installation imaginable.

With the rebirth of America’s energy industry and the need to install thousands of miles of medium to large pipelines, HDD has played an integral role in this massive construction endeavor. For most of the work, mid to large HDD units are the most efficient and expeditious method of executing the hundreds of crossings being let each month.

Shale has been – and will continue to be – very good to America. HDD contractors couldn’t agree more.