North American Oil & Gas Pipelines

JUL-AUG 2018

North American Oil & Gas Pipelines covers the news shaping the business of oil and gas pipeline construction and maintenance in North America, including pipeline installation methods, integrity management innovations and managerial strategies.

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28 North American Oil & Gas Pipelines | JULY/AUGUST 2 018 napipelines.com maintain the overall project schedule. The 24-in. ream- ing was completed without further issue. Permitting Offers Fourth Trial The fourth obstacle was purely permit driven and en- countered during the 36-in. ream. HDD industry standards are that the final ream size should be the smaller of the "product pipe X 1.5" or the "product pipe + 12 inches." In the case of 24-in. pipe, that is 36 in. either way. The Railroad permit for the 100 lf wide railroad right-of- way stated that the maximum ream shall be no more than 32 in. It was determined that the 36-in. pull ream shall cease at the eastern edge of the railroad right-of-way. All parties were concerned with pushing a heavy 36-in. rock reamer backwards through 180 lf of rock and then 1,470 lf of dirt. Consequently, Gabe's mobilized its American Au- gers DD 330 rig to set up on the low (pipe) side to assist in pulling the 36-in. tool away from the east edge of the railroad right-of-way. The 36-in. reamer was then installed on the high side and pulled 745 lf to the west edge of the railroad right- of-way by the DD 300. The main rig then pulled the 36- in. reamer back to the high side work area. Gabe's now had 2,395 lf reamed to 36 in. and 100 lf reamed to 24 in. A modified 32-in. reamer packaged was pulled the entire 2,495 lf HDD, cutting the 100 lf of the railroad right-of- way to 32 in. and acting as the final swab pass. Dry-Hole Brings Fifth Challenge The fifth and final obstacle concerned the 555 lf of dry-hole pipe and the 155 ft of elevation differential dur- ing pullback. Typically, an HDD of this length and diameter would warrant internal water buoyancy modifications to reduce external friction forces. Gabe's was initially concerned that internal buoyancy would be detrimental to the pipe once the pull-head was significantly above the string-out elevation. With the effects of gravity on the buoyancy water and no release for the air trapped in the 555 lf of pipe between the pull-head and ahead of the buoyancy water, an inter- nal vacuum could potentially be formed. Both Gabe's and the pipeline operator completed calculations that alleviat- ed anxiety of pipe failure due to buoyancy water vacuum. Gabe's decided to pull pipe without buoyancy. Erring on the side of caution and based on nearly 20 years of HDD experience, the company had all equip- ment and materials (Adler tanks, pumps, HDPE) ready to quickly introduce buoyancy water if pull forces exceeded comfortable levels. Ultimately, buoyancy was not needed as forces were maximized at 43,000 lbs, even though the final 22 percent of the HDD was dry-holed. Time and time again, Gabe's understands the underly- ing catalyst for a successful project is the pre-planning and continuous communication and support between all par- ties and personnel involved. Specifically, for this project it included Gabe's Construction director of HDD operations Steve Huibregtse and foreman operator Matt Baumann, Foltz Welding's Dan Hauschel and Scott Schoonover, the pipeline operator and each party's various field and office support personnel. Planning and communication have a direct influence on the outcome that all HDD contractors strive for: a clean hole, the safe return of all employees to their family, a contented customer and a flawlessly smooth pullback. Nathan Eastway, P.E. is vice president of HDD and specialty projects at Gabe's Construction Co. Inc. The 76-year-old company is based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Sheboygan, Wisconsin-based Gabe's Construction Co. Inc. overcame a series of obstacles during the installation of a gas transmission line in the fall 2017. Through teamwork and communication, the company was able to navigate permitting and environmental challenges for a successful completion.

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