Energy Growth Fuels Large HDD Rig Boom

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | September 2012, Vol. 67 No. 9

Comments: To successfully complete the bore on schedule, work operations ran 24-hour work days, seven days a week, Lamb said. “Due to the cobble and gravel and flowing underground water, it was necessary to maintain a continuous flow of drilling mud to lower the potential for IRs and cave in of the hole. We moved the rig pipe-side to pull ream from entry to exit to carry the gravel out the short side of the hole. Staffing and equipment issues were created by having four crews committed to the same project. From a business perspective, there is a risk factor in allocating so many resources to a single revenue source.”

Project 4: Crossing stream and state road in an environmentally-sensitive area to install 3,220 linear feet of 24-inch steel pipe.

Elevation changes: Entry to exit, 300 vertical feet; bottom to exit, 500 vertical feet.

Drill rigs: Vermeer D330x500 developing 330,000 pounds of pullback and American Augers DD210T with 220,000 pounds of pullback.

Downhole tools: 9 7/8-inch TCI bit for pilot hole; 24- and 36-inch TCI hole openers for backreaming.

Guidance: The pilot hole was guided by a Tensor wireline tool with TruTracker surface grid system.

Comments: “A pipe side rig was used to ream from the low side to the high side of the bore path to avoid push reaming and keep the right amount of force on the face of the rock with the cutter.” Lamb said. “With 300 feet vertical elevation from entry to exit, there was 1,000 feet of hole above the entry elevation. With that much dry hole, it always is difficult to clean the hole because mud outruns the cuttings. Soil boring proximity to alignment created an IR situation. This project also required four crews to operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week, bringing the same concerns regarding staffing and allocated of resources described on the previous project.”

American Augers, (800) 324-4930,
Vermeer Corp., (888) 837-6337,
TruTracker -- Sharewell HDD, (281) 288-2560,

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