Tough Crossing To A New Record: Successful HDD River Crossing Of Nearly 2 Miles

By Bob Wothe, Michels Corporation, and Randy Traylor, SCANA Corporation | June 2011 Vol. 66 No. 6

The dramatic skew to the pipe pullback alignment meant that the 16-inch steel pipe had to be carefully snaked around many obstacles and safely pulled along the right-of-way for 20 hours, which included a four-hour mid-weld.

Knowledge, cooperation equal success
Michels Assistant Operations Manager Tom Breunig mastered the art of understatement when assessing the project.

“This was not an everyday job,” Breunig said. “There were quite a few challenges that we had to stay on top of every single day. In addition to the normal contractual requirements, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering had requirements, and we had different rules to follow on each side of the river because of being inside-plant with two different companies. Pre-planning with the project team and CGT maximized safety while minimizing the challenges.”

On a complicated project such as this one, anything less could have led to disaster. As HDD projects have become more complex, the number of difficulties and challenges encountered on any one job has multiplied exponentially. The ability of Michels to work closely with CGT and Patterson & Wilder was crucial for the success of the installation.

“The length and environmental conditions were a huge challenge in and of themselves,” CGT Project Manager Barry Mills said. “Throw in the number of folks from different companies working together on this project and you can see how this challenge becomes even greater. Fortunately, the teamwork and dedication of everyone came through with flying colors.”

Larry Collins and Devy Traylor rounded out the oversight team from CGT, fulfilling the roles of on-site inspector and engineering manager, respectively.

For Michels, Breunig led a team made up of Jim McGovern, Larry Shilman, Wendell Long and Robert Spennati who all worked together as project managers on this complex job, and Paul Krings, Marcus Carratt, Bryan Ketter and Dan Reynolds were the drill superintendents.

Finally, in addition to Lewis, the Patterson & Wilder team included Vice President of Field Operations Cathy Cavender, Project Manager Ed Kosarek and Project Superintendent Danny Burden.

Together, this experienced and knowledgeable team completed one of the most impressive drills ever attempted.

“The successful completion of this complex project is just another example of CGT’s excellent track record of meeting the needs of its customers and other stakeholders,” Fant said. “Michels and Patterson & Wilder teamed with our group to move this project from drawing board to flowing gas while meeting scheduling and financial targets.”

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