Company Overcomes Challenges To Complete Intersect Bore

September 2009 Vol. 64 No. 9

“We’ve worked with Jason Kowalewski in the past and he helped us with our wire line bore guidance,” Lane says. “I told him we purchased a maxi-rig and needed his experience and expertise since this was our first entry into long bores. He joined our company the week the D330x500 arrived.”

Long shot
With only three projects under their belt using the D330x500, Parker Lane won a bid to install 5,850 feet of 8-inch steel pipeline for XTO Energy, one of the nation’s largest independent oil and gas producers near Crowley, TX. The line was to be used to transport natural gas and became the longest bore Parker Lane had attempted with the new drill rig.

Kowalewski and Lane began developing the bore plan for the project and created a number of scenarios based on the project requirements. The bore would pass under an environmentally sensitive area, a private learn-to-fly airport on the south edge of Fort Worth, and a city street on the north side of the airport property. The team also needed to minimize the potential for frac-outs, especially in the environmentally-sensitive areas, so the bore had to be designed to minimize that possibility. The length of the bore was also a concern.

“We discussed completing the bore in one shot, but knew once we hit the 4,000-foot mark it was going to be like pushing a wet noodle through the ground and would take considerable time to complete the last 2,000 feet,” says Kowalewski.

Other concerns also arose. The drill stem Lane planned to use was a smaller diameter than what Kowalewski preferred, but this was only their fourth large-diameter, long-range bore and money was tight, so purchasing a new set of drill stem wasn’t an option. The team also had to take into account the depth of the rock shale ground conditions in the Fort Worth area. This meant they would need to bore at a depth of 60 feet or more to find ground conditions that were suitable.

“We ended up using a 6.5-inch mud motor with a 9-7/8-inch mill tooth for the pilot bore,” says Kowalewski.

The drill rig was positioned 800 feet from the south edge of the busy Dallas-Fort Worth Airport property with the intention of completing the bore in one shot. Smokey Barron, drill operator, began the bore and had just reached 100 feet when a frac-out occurred. The hole was push-reamed to open the hole so they could use the same hole as the frac-out. Mud flow was lost several times in the first 1,000 feet and the trip and push ream process proved very time consuming.