Record Bore Set On Virginia Natural Gas Project

January 2009 Vol. 64 No. 1

Installing the pipeline using HDD methods presented many challenges typical of projects this size. During the reaming phase an old oyster bed was encountered that contributed to the collapse of the hole, which ultimately resulted in a break of the drill stem on the entry side off the 32-inch reamer. Through the experience of the Mears management team, which included Site Supervisor Mike Vidomski and Operations Manager Bob Stern, the situation was quickly dealt with and the project was not significantly delayed.

There were also challenges in finding a suitable location to fabricate a 7,500 foot-long segment of pipe. Les Flora, project manager, VGN, Risa Durrett, construction manager, VNG and Carolina Palmer, project manager, Weeks Marine, worked together in resolving this issue which was handled in the end by fabricating the pipe in two offset segments. The first segment was constructed on the Navy’s Carney Island fuel terminal, while the second was welded along the South edge of the Craney Island project. The two segments were then joined just prior to pullback and managed by cranes and cradles, suspending the pipe over an existing pipeline and access road below. The project was an overall success due primarily to the experience of the contractors involved and the cooperative efforts of the entire project team.

Mears Group: (800) 632-7727, www.mears.net