A Case Study on the World-Record Direct Pipe

A Case Study on the World-Record Direct Pipe


Maureen Carlin, Laney Group, Spring, TX United States
Rob Hotz, Laney Group
Julien O'Connell, Herrenknecht AG
Nick Michels, Laney Group
Andrew Sparks, Laney Group

Abstract: The Direct Pipe® Method combines the advantages of microtunnelling [1] and HDD technology creating a single pass process that uses a steerable tunnel boring machine-cutting head. Overall, the process greatly lowers annular pressure acting on the surrounding subsurface formation and greatly reduces the risk of inadvertent returns. This makes the method ideal for crossing under levees and environmentally sensitive areas where failure is not an option. These benefits have led to a number of upcoming Direct Pipe® projects due to the high and continuously growing worldwide demand for trenchless pipeline installations for the oil and gas industry, for freshwater and sewage transportation as well as for supply and communication lines.

In December 2017, Laney Direction Drilling (Laney) set a new world-record in length for the Direct Pipe® Method. This project included a shore approach execution into the Gulf of Mexico located in Cameron County, Texas. The total measured distance of the 42-inch diameter Direct Pipe® installation was 5,000 feet and an additional 1,350 feet of pipe pushed out to the offshore contractor. This is the longest Direct Pipe® installation to date worldwide. In the end, the project completed safely, on schedule and within budget. This case study will discuss the project methodologies adopted by both the design and construction teams to successfully install the pipeline crossing. In addition, it will discuss the numerous challenges associated with installing a pipeline further than had ever been accomplished utilizing the Direct Pipe® Method.

Publication Date: 2019

Presented at:
NASTT’s 2019 No-Dig Show Chicago, Illinois
March 17-21, 2019 | Paper Number: MA-T3-03

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