Skip to comments.Company overcomes major obstacles to complete lengthy interstate drill
Posted on 03/17/2014 4:35:35 AM PDT by thackney
Louisiana-based horizontal driller Ranger Field Service lowers pipe for a 2.1-mile line that runs across the Texas-Louisiana border and under the Sabine River. Some are speculating that the drill is the longest horizontal length that has ever been drilled on land and under a river, one of the biggest obstacles Mother Nature can throw at a pipeline drill.
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A private drilling company in Louisiana said this week it has drilled a 2.1-mile horizontal length under the Sabine River and across the Texas-Louisiana border.
The 11,065-foot span is raising speculation that it was the longest horizontal length that ever has been drilled on land and under a river, one of the biggest obstacles Mother Nature can throw at a pipeline drill.
Last year, Louisiana-based horizontal driller Ranger Field Service burrowed for a 12-inch gas pipeline, one segment of a 139-mile pipe that extends from Liberty, Texas to Eunice, Louisiana.
That piece of the pipeline had to run under the Sabine River because federal regulators did not give the owner, Crosstex Energy, permission to build it over the regions wetlands 115 miles east of Houston, said Boyd Simon, a vice president at Ranger Field Services.
They took a chance, and we did, too, Simon said, adding the drill had only minor problems. A lot of money can be lost really fast if youre not careful drilling and a pipe twists off. You could lose half a million dollars in just a heartbeat with just the tools that are downhole.
A Transocean rig off the coast of Qatar holds the world record with its nearly 7-mile horizontal segment, according to the International Association of Drilling Contractors and the Guinness Book of World Records. But its unclear who can claim the longest sideways distance on U.S. soil.
The industry doesnt keep track of record horizontal lengths, but Simon says his companys drill beat the most recent land record a 10,900-foot length running sideways under Lake Houston. That pipe was completed by Humble, Texas-based Laney Directional Drilling two years ago. Laney officials, who made the original claim to the land record, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Simon said Ranger Fields claim to the record is based on independent research from a doctoral candidate who is studying lateral lengths and other infrastructure. The student declined to comment.
This is what got Kuwait in trouble with Saddam Hussein, isn’t it?
Horizontal drilling? The mind reels...
This is connecting a pipeline on either side of the Sabine River.
It is not drilling into a producing field.
He claimed they were slant-drilling oil wells, this is a transmission line, a very different animal.
If you click to the source, you will see a bigger machine working the same principal method.
The pipe stem doesn’t look to be 12”. The photo at the original story did. I don’t understand how one could get the 12” pipe to withstand the torque necessary to do make the hole. Perhaps they start with a much smaller hole and workup to 12”. Could that be?
I’m not an expert, but I believe drilling, at least horizontal drilling, is not accomplished by rotating the whole pipe.
There’s a bit on the end that does the actual boring and it’s hydraulic. The pipe is pressurized to drive the boring bit and flush the material out. Since only the “end” is doing the boring, I believe this is how they can steer it.
From what I’ve heard, they actually communicate with the bit using some sort of pressure pulse signaling through the working fluid.
I’m sure others with more experience can elaborate. I may not understand it properly.
Wow. Excellent explanation. Thank you so much. More like the Big Dig.
When I last hired a underground river crossing, they first drilled the hole. The second step was pulling the pipe through. But I was told this and did not oversee the operation.
I am sick and tired of eco nuts and their 'wetlands' regulations. Over half of the state of Louisiana is a wetland. Why is swampland, which we got in spades, so important that no one can build on it, or drain it, or dump dirt on it? How about desert, beach, pine highlands, etc.?