By Grady Bell, Vice President Business Development, Laney Directional Drilling Co.
Laney Directional Drilling Co. successfully completed the HDD installation of nearly 11,000 feet of 6-inch steel gas pipeline in one pull under Lake Houston.
The project was initiated to replace the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline which parallels the FM 1960 bridge that crosses Lake Houston in northeast Harris County, TX.
The replacement HDD crossing pipe was 6 inches in diameter with a 0.432 wall thickness, coated with fusion bonded epoxy and an abrasion resistant overlay. The pipe contractor was Sunland Construction of Eunice, LA.
The total measured distance of the HDD crossing was 10,971 feet which included a 17.5 degree sidebend and reached depths of 120 feet.
Laney used two custom built LDD-750 drilling rigs to drill the pilot hole by the intercept method. Drilling was carried out from both the east side and the west side of the lake simultaneously until both pilot bits were in the same hole. The pilot hole assemblies were then tripped out to the west side of Lake Houston, making one continuous drill pipe string in the hole. Because of the limited area to weld the product pipe in one continuous pipe string, the product pipe was pulled in from the east side in four sections, requiring three welds to be made during the pullback process.
The record project was successfully completed in just over two weeks . Laney wishes to thank all parties involved in the successful completion of such a complex project, but would like to especially commend field superintendents Kevin Barton and John Odom on completing this record project.