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ISSN 0340-3386 - K 1252 E VULKAN VERLAG


Piping Systems

Piping Engineering

Journall for
f r Piping,
P , Engineering,
E , Practice

Special Edition 13/2004


Special Steel Pipelines Technology

Trenchless technologies in pipeline

Dipl.-Ing. Leopold Scheuble, Karlsruhe (G)

erschienen in 3R international Special Edition 13/2002

Vulkan-Verlag GmbH, Essen
Ansprechpartner: Nico Hülsdau, Telefon 0201/82002-33, E-Mail: n.huelsdau@vulkan-verlag.de

Trenchless technologies in pipeline

1. Development and significance Drivers of the global energy monopoly and businessmen alike to build pipelines.
of pipeline construction are the international energy groups, who Since the 15th century, kerosene for
act as multinational major coorporations, lamps was gained from oil sources below
Pipelines are a rather economical and
either under private or governmental the ground. It was in 1848, when the first
eco-friendly way of transporting liquid
direction, depending on their political oil well of the world was drilled in Baku,
and gaseous fluids, like natural gas,
background. Surely, it is difficult to followed by the first refinery in 1859, also
water, oil or district heating, covering
separate the area between government in Baku. Modern oil production really
long distances. Pipelines transport huge
interventions and independent decisions started in 1872; there is only one
amounts of energy safely, quickly and
made by the group; crude oil and natural production plant in Romania which is an
economically. This is an extremely gentle
gas have been the lubricants of the older one.
and efficient way of transportation. High
economy at all times, therefore they are Baku had developed into one of the
demands on operational safety and the
also the base of development in the largest industrial cities in Russia. At the
equipment used, as well as regular
producing and consuming countries. end of the 19th century, the first oil boom
intensive checks of the operating
process, applying the latest techniques, in Baku broke out, when the Nobels and
1.1 The first pipelines – historic Rothschilds came in to town to challenge
assure the high safety standards of this reflections
transportation system. the Standard Oil Company of John
According to a page in the internet, in the Rockefellers. They built the first pipeline
If the water supply is nationwide, water former times of Greek civilisation, the in 1897, running from the Caspian Sea to
galleries and transport lines installed probably first „pipeline“ in history was the Black Sea. More than half of the oil
underground connect the source to the installed because the Cirò, one of the on the world markets came from Baku
storage and distribution spots, which are oldest Italian wines, was conducted 100 years ago.
often far away. directly to the hulls of the ships in special
The first oil drills in the United States
Pipelines transport oil and gas from the ceramic pipes.
were carried out in 1857. The first
exploitation area to the plants for further Another excursion through the history of pipeline in the USA was built in 1865,
processing. The products are handed on pipeline construction leads us to a brine with a length of 8 km and a daily flow rate
to the industrial or private user via further line between Reichenhall and Traunstein, of 250 tons. As a result, the United States
transport and distribution lines or which is seen as the oldest pipeline, became the dominating producers until
distribution networks. according to our present definition of the the mid 20th century, and were almost
Producing countries and pipelines for word. This line, built between 1617 and self-sufficient at that time.
water, crude oil and natural gas have 1619, had a length of 31 km and
Today’s structures in the producing
been in the spotlight of geo-political consisted of 8.500 pipes made of wood, countries were established the middle of
objectives and development at all times; each 4 m long. The 238 metres of height the last century, and it was not before
economical development and growth are between Reichenhall and Inzell were 1967 that the first crude oil from the
based on them, as well as dependency surmounted by water wheels of 7 metres North Sea could be processed by British
towards trusts and politically motivated height and driven by water power. Petroleum.
decisions. In the 19th century, 1860 important water In 2005, huge pipeline systems, like the
Mainly decisive for the concept, reservoirs were found in the region of BTC- Baku - Tblissi - Ceyhan with a
construction and operation of pipelines today’s Grampian National Park in length of 1.760 km, will start service, to
are not always distances and technical or Victoria, Australia. There, between the supplement the current shipments with
operational expenditure, but rather valleys of Mount Williams and the Sierra ultra large carriers for oil. Parallel to the
amounts of delivery, consumers Ranges to Stawell, the first pipeline for BTC-Pipeline, the South Caucasus Gas
contracts or, finally, political decisions. potable water was built, with a length of Pipeline (SCP) is being installed in the
At least in Europe, cross-national more than 30 km. same pipeline corridor between Baku
economy pacts are founded, replacing Another important line was also built in and Erzurum (Figure 1). Large projects,
nationally orientated autarky attempts. the north-west of Australia, it is the like the Alaska Pipeline, the Mackenzie
The EU tries to cross-link producers and largest drinking water line in the world. Valley Project in Canada or the pipeline
consumers of oil and gas products via The discovery of gold near Coolgardie in from Siberia to Japan and China, are all
pan-European transportation corridors, 1892 and Kalgoorlie in 1893 lead to the in various stages of preparation at
in order to guarantee the supply from construction of the Golden Pipeline. 566 present.
several different markets. km of pipeline altogether, made from
66,000 steel pipes, 760 mm in diameter, 1.3 Natural gas – a further source of
with lengths of 8.50 metres each, were energy
installed underground from 1898 till the Besides the mineral oil, with its differing
official opening in 1903. To this day, chemical compositions and corres-
Dipl.-Ing. approximately 350 km of the original
Leopold Scheuble ponding exploitation and conditioning
Lock Bar Steel Pipe are still in use. expenditure, natural gas is steadily
Karlsruhe (G)
Tel. +49(0)721/8306048 gaining importance as a clean energy. In
Email: leopold.scheuble@ 1.2 Oil – the Black Gold earlier times, it was flared a waste
t-online.de The search for the black gold became product during mineral oil production,
the main driving power for adventurers but now it is gathered along or even

2 3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology


until 1979. 1979 is also the year of

construction for the “prototype” of a
horizontal drilling unit for near-the-
surface application, with a slanted drill rig
for installing pipelines.
Halfway into the eighties, the HDD
technology came over to Germany and
Europe from the States. Meanwhile, the
further development of the drilling and
steering technique allows drills from a
few metres up to 2 kilometres.
The well-known jack & bore methods
have established themselves for shorter
distances. With the TT technology, you
can drive pipes up to 4 metres in
diameter. Microtunnelling machines with
fully automatic control force open exact
bore paths, and the plough technique
can also be applied for smaller
dimensioned lines.
Fig. 1: Overview of the caspian pipeline nets
The development of trenchless
technologies has added further
economical dimensions to pipeline
searched with separate exploration transports, but more and more also by installation, and our ecology also profits
bores. the construction of new lines. from these techniques. For more
information concerning the current state
At present, large gas deposits are found More feeder lines to new industrial of technology, further developments and
and exploited in the traditional oil centres or distribution networks in their application, contact the
producing regions, as well as in North Chinese towns with more than a million manufacturers and suppliers of
Africa, China, Australia and in the whole of inhabitants are being installed along machines, equipment and fuels.
Pacific Region (Figure 2). transportation lines, i. e. the 4,000 km Institutions, like IPLOCA or DCCA and
Not only the producer and consumer long West-East Pipeline, which is already the European sister association DCA are
countries, but also the transit countries in use. important forerunners of the HDD
are in the direct focus of international technology. The relevant professional
decisions. Turkey, for instance, is already 1.4 The beginnings of HDD in pipeline magazines have always been important
seen as a turntable for oil and gas from construction sources of information on the latest
the Caspian Region and the Middle East, The exploitation, but most of all, the events and novelties, but also the
and also for gas from Egypt. With the transportation of oil and gas would never internet portals, like Nodig-
help of new installations or the have been accomplished without the construction.com or the portals of GSTT
connection of already existing pipeline development of the vertical drilling and ISTT.
systems across the Balkan, these raw technique and the trenchless installation
materials are planned as a part of the methods. 2. Utilisation of trenchless
European supply. We have heard of drilling attempts installation technologies
The gas supply between South and carried out by the Chinese as far back in
The determination of a pipeline course
North America, just as between Australia time as 600 B.C.; 1420 saw the first bore
often follows political motivations,
and China, is managed by liquid gas trials in Europe and at the end of the
especially when projects are crossing
same century, Leonardo da Vinci
several countries, therefore it is not
developed the first machine for
always bound to be the most economical
horizontal drilling, which could drill
version. This may certainly lead to
through wooden trunks to produce water
technical constraints, which demand a
pipes. certain analysis of the alignment with
The vertical drilling technique, however, focus on the installation technologies.
was improved immensely by the The application of trenchless methods
exploration of crude oil by the end of the may be technically and economically
19th century. Then, in 1920, the first reasonable in just these special cases. It
holes in horizontal direction were drilled must be the in the interest of all people
in the German hard coal mines, non- involved to keep costs low by
steered application could achieve maximising the share of trenchless
lengths of up to 200 metres into the coal techniques.
stratum. Precise observation can be worthwhile;
The first horizontal river crossing beneath in pipeline construction, like in other
the Pajara River near Watsonville in branches, economic constraints
California was performed with an inclined determine the method of action, and in
vertical drill rig by Martin Cherrington. In many cases, the utilisation of the
the time following this event, the technical possibilities of trenchless
company carried out 36 further crossing technology result in shorter working
Fig. 2: World natural gas reserves bores beneath rivers and traffic ways times coupled with a more economical

3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology 3


Fig. 3: Particularly the linkage of offshore with

HDD-Application onshore plants sees the open trench
range construction, due to its negative effects,
increasingly being replaced by the HDD
technique. The sensitive transition
region, with shallow water zones, strips
of shore and flood protection banks, is
simply undercrossed from the shore
without disturbing flora and fauna
(Figure 4).

2.1 From the idea to installation

Years before being started, many
pipeline projects already exist as an idea
or even as a detailed image. Changing
general economic conditions, political
decision processes, the struggle to find
an ecological route or assuring the
financial side are common reasons for
long time delays, before the execution of
the project may commence.
At a definite time the required measures,
from preparation to commissioning, can
be carried out within a tight time
schedule (see att. Baku – Tbilisi – Cehyan
(BTC) – pipeline, Figure 5).
As soon as the political starting shot
goes off and a feasability study has been
carried out, the pipeline route, which is
able to meet all the requirements of the
construction phase and later service life
Fig. 4: best, is chosen from all possible courses.
HDD offshore
application This choice is based on the
Environmental and Social Impact
Assessments (ESIA), accompanied by
the Government, the general public, the
installation than would be possible with Thus the HDD technology is gaining NGO’s and the financial backers, like the
open trench methods. growing economical and ecological World Bank, EBRD or IFC. This
Already the plough technique for line importance. A more recent statement transaction is time and money
diameters up to approx. 350 mm has concerning the distribution of application consuming; drawing up the documents,
immense advantages, compared to the areas of HDD technique is also their layout, the public meetings,
open trench method. The plough interesting (Source: Underground hearings and inspections take a lot of
technique is also used in shallow water construction 41, June 2004, Figure 3). time. The ESIA documents of the BTC
The HDD technique makes trenchless
line installation possible and is
increasingly established in pipeline
construction and for laying
transportation lines. It is mainly used
• crossing inshore waters, rivers, canals
and irrigation systems
• crossings beneath railway tracks,
streets and highways,
• avoiding damaged terrains,
• protecting flora and fauna
• landscape protection and nature
conservation regions especially,
• to overcome topographic obstacles or
difficult soil structures, e. g. rocks
• wherever obstacles or particularly
sensitive parameters make the
application of open-cut or other
methods like the cable plough
technique, difficult or even impossible Fig. 5: BTC-Pipeline time schedule

4 3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology


project comprise more than 11,000 Economical and social goals are 1,760 km (1,091 miles), is divided into
pages. • combustion emissions 445 km in Azerbaijan, 245 km in Georgia
All persons concerned have their own and 1,070 km in Turkey. Crossings in the
• no loading or offloading emissions pipeline path concern
ideas and regulations; to take them all
into account or to find compensation, • zero discharge of oil or chemicals to • rivers, canals and other inshore
often on a monetary base, is an land or surface waters waters
important step in the direction of • maximising efficiency of net energy • public roads and pathways
achieving the permission and exported
approvability of such a project. • railway tracks
• minimizing project footprint (including
At this stage of the project, it is already Right of way (ROW),temporary • underground lines of all kind
possible to minimise many technical and facilities and access roads) • special geological features (like active
economical risks by applying trenchless • no net damage to protected faults etc.)
technologies. Some examples for this ecological areas or archaeological As a result, Azerbaijan has 350, Georgia
are: sites 250 and Turkey 300 crossings beneath
• utilising the HDD technology for railways and roads, river crossings are
• no creation of access routes to
crossing sections of the bore path Azerbaijan 30, Georgia 200 and Turkey
otherwise inaccessible areas
which includes the risk of landslides to approx. 600. Of course this includes all
avoid destabilisation, which is to be • restoration of habitat and hydrological
inshore waters, from the rivulet to the
expected with the open cut method regimes
dried out wadi to the mountain stream in
• undergoing inaccessible path sections • no loss of containment of product flood.
with long distance installation, this • no resettlement of local population In most cases, namely in less sensitive
saves elaborate structural measures areas of minor importance, these
• no permanent disruption to the
for establishing access roads crossings are done with the open trench
livelihood of the local population
• crossing natural areas worth method. Figures from the BTC section in
Concrete effects of these principles can
protecting with the help of Azerbaijan clarify the relations between
be seen in the fact that an examination of
underground construction methods in open and trenchless installation: besides
the flora and fauna, above and below the
greater depths: time and money seven HDD- crossings, this section with
crossing area of the river, is carried out
consuming discussions with pressure 445 km in length requires the
before river crossings are established,
groups are avoided, the protection of performance of 21 auger borings. Here,
and the effects of construction and
nature can truly and constantly be the pipeline is installed inside the built-in
operation of the pipeline is drawn up in
guaranteed protection pipe, in order to avoid damage
an evaluated scale. The decision, in
• In an actual case, the utilisation of to roads and railway tracks and to
which way the pipeline installation and
private property and the payment of disturb sensitive river regions and natural
other measures taken during
compensation could be avoided by areas as little as possible.
construction and operation shall
applying the HDD method. commence, is based on these results. Definitely different relations can be seen
• The installation of a line with the HDD The crossing types and the manner of in the example of the 354 km long
technique in great depths helps to construction, for example, are defined in product pipeline from Stade to the DOW
avoid a limitation of the utilisation, this way. Chemical location in Teutschenthal. For
which would be the natural result of an this steel pipe, dimensions 273x5.6/8.8
open trench installation with the usual 2.3 Reflections on the trenchless part mm, with PE coating, 113 pressings, 9
cover of only a few metres. In pipeline construction, the installation protection steelpipe pressings and 203
of lines in populated areas is generally steered HDD drills were carried out, 24 of
All these points show clearly that it is
done underground, still mainly applying them were larger crossings of rivers and
possible to defuse environmentally
open trench methods. The trenchless, navigation canals.
relevant demands and other constraints
at an early stage with the trenchless closed installation part of the complete When the Alliance Gas Pipeline in North
installation method and to guarantee the bore path length may not be relevant, but America (length 1,900 miles, 36-inch in
feasability and viability of a project. it is of great importance to realise that diameter) was installed the relations were
many projects – particularly those with as follows: more than half of the road
2.2 Conceptional and aspects large crossings of any kind – could not be crossings were executed in the road bore
environmental carried out without the trenchless technique. 13 large river crossings had to
method at all. A dense settlement and be overcome additionally, the HDD
“Throughout the pipelines planning
valuable surfaces are disturbed in very crossing of the Peace Rivers, with 3,600
process we have worked to minimise
few places alone, emissions are reduced foot (1039 metres), being the most
negative impacts on the environment and
society”. This sentence in a BTC or occur only on a small scale and small challenging of them all; ramming and
document already marks the limitations of use are avoided. HDD technique were combined for this.
responsibility of all parties concerned at The following recent examples may back Microtunnelling machines were also used
the stage of conception. The basic up these statements. But even the for the project.
course for installation and operation of population in apparently unproblematic When comparing the Trans Alaska
the pipeline is already set at this stage, regions shows increasing sensitivity Pipeline System (TAPS) to the Sakhalin II
and this course suggests the trenchless towards the effects of above-ground Pipeline, we also get insight into
method for line installation. construction methods – as is made interesting figures. Both lines run through
Therefore, a few of the maximes shall be transparent by the ESIA transaction inhospitable arctic regions, but their
drawn up, following the plan and concerning the BTC pipeline. This modes of construction vary.
construction of the BTC pipeline and the development almost forces us to apply The TAPS is an oil pipeline, 1200 mm in
SCP following the same path some time the underground installation techniques. diameter, pressure 70 bar and 1,280 km
later on. The BTC pipeline, with its total length of long; 673 km of these run above the

3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology 5


ground, 602 km are built conventionally strain on the environment – the example 3.1.1 Open Crossings
underground, 6 km are equipped with of the Kamchatka Pipeline has already The crossings of roads, rivers, brooks
special freeze-protection devices. More shown this. and railway tracks is often performed
than 900 rivers and brooks, 70 of them Therefore HDD was applied for the river using the open trench method. Usually
significant, were crossed by 13 pipeline crossings, crossings in open trenches unpaved gravel roads are concerned,
bridges or open trenches of 2.3 to 4.8 were only allowed in the winter months, which are closed and crossed with the
metres, almost 15 metres deep in the when the soil was deeply frozen. open trench.
most extreme case. No HDD crossings
Tacking stock we can say that the HDD Minor roads and railway tracks are
were performed. At the beginning of the
technique, as it is today, is effective and crossed by working one half of the way
seventies this technique seemed
economical in its application, even in while maintaining the other half for the
unsuitable for such an extreme plan;
extreme conditions. traffic.
also, large rocky boulders obstruct the
area of the bore path. Dry open-cut crossings of small rivers or
Recent experience in the U.S. Arctic 3 Techniques Installation irrigation canals is carried by means of a
(ARCO Colville River Crossing) has only 3.1 Open trench construction by-pass of the water course into pipes;
now proved the technology in Permafrost otherwise, the flowing water is simply
Naturally, the open trench construction
conditions. This project was executed in crossed with an open trench. Decisive
takes the lion’s share of the total length.
1997/1998 and took seasons rather than factors are the amount of water, function
Figure 6 shows the typical situation.
the single season planned. The analysis of the water course, effects of the
Before the beginning of work, the future
of the crossing type (Bridge, trench, measure on the crossing and
path is determined and staked out. After
HDD) used similar methodology as used downstream area as well as the
this, the working area is cleared, which
by Sakhalin Energy. HDD was chosen as expenditure required for restoring the
means, the removal of any trees and
being least expensive (at the time, based bushes standing within this area which riverside and slope area.
on a single season construction. includes the ‘right of way’ area (ROW). Therefore, every crossing demands
The Sakhalin II Pipeline consists of an oil In the case of the BTC, the working thorough investigations to find out how
and a gas pipeline, 500 mm in diameter space is 32 meters because the SCP will to avoid too much disturbance for
each, 600 and 1200 mm in some parts, follow at a later date, but in the same residents and the environment, how to
100 bar operation pressure and a total corridor a further expansion of merely 12 carry out the measures as quickly as
length of 807 km. More than 1100 water m of the ‚right of way’ zone is necessary. possible and how to restore the
courses of all kinds, 63 of them Here, the principle of using the already disturbed surfaces to their original state
particularly sensitive, had to be crossed. existing corridor to protect humans and in the best possible way.
Pipeline bridges were not built, instead, nature alike, is also applied. This kind of application naturally has a
there were 8 HDD crossings with covers The next step is to excavate a trench, strong effect on all persons concerned
of up to 10 metres, the others were approx. 2.5 m deep, in which the already and the surroundings of the civil works.
mainly achieved using the open cut welded pipe string is lowered later on. Even under normal conditions elaborate
method. Approx. 15 km of open trench are always job site logistics for the parallel-running
No part of the line was installed above prepared at this stage. The trench should processes of excavation, installation,
the ground, as Permafrost is not a be backfilled with the same material, back-filling and restoring works as well
problem there, and the Russian especially the cover layer should be the as the required cross and longitudinal
understanding of security and nature same as before. Then the surface is transports in the area of the job site are
protection is contrary to open lines: landscaped and restored. indispensable. Heat, dust and, most of
Technical failure, or even sabotage, can In the way the building activities and all, precipitation aggravate the access to
lead to great damage and permanent regional transactions of this BTC pipeline the job site and turn work in deep terrain
interference, if oil emerges from the line. project should be organised, the building into a strain for man and equipment
The TSUREN (Russian Federal site claims no more than a length of 60 Appointed time schedules set everyone
Regulators) have also experienced, that km during the complete time. The under pressure, making additional
installations above the ground are building activities should last for 6 to 8 measures inevitable in order to ensure
subject to massive technical weeks in each region. During this time, all the completion of the job in time. Here,
maintenance and servicing, their possible efforts to minimise noise, dust trenchless technologies - assumed the
construction has proved an immense and job site traffic should be taken. job site is accessible – are considerably
less sensitive; additional equipment of
the machine technique allows work even
under extreme conditions, i.e. larger
cooling aggregates for great heat or
heated shelters built above the unit for
cold temperatures.
Therefore, the application of trenchless
techniques can prevent many negative
effects of the open-cut construction,
reduce the costs for restoring the original
condition and save additional
mobilisation of resources for completing
the project.

3.2 Plough Technique

Fig. 6:
Open trenching - In comparison to the open trench
cross sectional method, the pipe and cable plough
scheme method is distinguished by reduced

6 3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology


Fig. 7: Rocket plow – Scheme (Source: Föckersperger GmbH)

disturbance of the surface, very high installation have been examined was part installed than non-cohesive soils with
daily performance and economic of the dissertation mentioned above. their loose bedding, cast iron pipes with
efficiency. Particularly in rural regions, Result of this examination: the ideal soil protruding collar connections are
where often the distances are long, free for applying the plough technique is well therefore hardly suitable for loose, sandy
of obstacles and the geology is compactable and sufficiently stable. soils.
consistent, this method is unbeatable. Only slight lifting of the soil on the terrain
When applied under water, the plough is surface occurs , the required total pulling 3.2.2 Special Plough – mode of
pulled across the sea bed by ship, force is low and stress during installation operation
opening a trench in which the pipe is laid is not severe. Route sections containing Supported by the cable-pulled special
and then backfilled again. boulders, fractured rocks or stones are plough, the pipeline is laid directly into
The conventional pipe and cable plough unsuitable for this method. Soils of this the void created by the displacement
creates a V-shaped trench for installing kind can neither be displaced nor process, which is the advantage of this
the pipe, back-fill is performed in the compacted. Depending on the bedding, method. Here, we must differ between
next working step. Ploughs – made in unfavourable loads may occur, the static or dynamic plough method
USA - with a pulling force of 330 tons, influencing the functioning order or the with installation box – the line is lead
depths up to 6.5 ft can be achieved in service life of the pipe in a bad way. overhead to the plough share – and the
one single working step. The dimensions The investigation also proved, that the plough towing method. Plough towing
of this kind of plough: length 75 ft x width load on the cables and pipes is means that the line is inserted in the
40 ft; pipes up to 45 inches in diameter minimised in comparison to conventional starting pit and – as the word already
can be installed. suggests – is towed underground into the
building methods, because the soil is
Similar dimensions - approximately 70 only slightly disturbed. The application already created plough track.
feet wide, 70 feet long and 30 feet high – range comprises non-cohesive and Simply one little starting pit for setting
are the specifications of a marine cohesive soils. Depending on the and aligning the plough is required. The
pipeline plough, which was used for the consistency or ground compactness, the plough blade can be precisely adjusted
installation of a 24 inch pipeline with a ability to be displaced has an effect on in its height by hydraulics, allowing
total length of 35 miles in the Eastchester the pulling force during installation. The progressive adaptation of the ploughing
Extension Project. friction-reducing effects (which also depth to the current needs down to 2.0
These plough methods require rather reduce the power requirements) of a m. The towing winch with its pulling force
large working space to the sides, which Bentonite lubrication can also be of up to 140 t and a cable length of 130
require a lot of finishing work. The favourable for the installation procedure. m is mounted to an off-road vehicle and
company Georg Föckersperger GmbH, Cohesive soils with a soft consistency braces itself automatically when reaching
Aurachtal, has developed a basically new take longer to settle on the pipe being the target.
installation and pipe laying technique in
Germany 30 years ago and is improving
the method since then (Figure 7). Up to
now more than 50,000 km of pipeline,
including steel pipe s up to 350 mm OD
and casting lines up to ND 250, have
been installed.
A dissertation from the year 2003
determined the loads occurring during
installation and converted them into a
mathematical formula. Accordingly,
pipelines can be laid in a way that
eliminates damage to the pipe and near-
by lines, allowing great single lengths to
be pulled in. Fig. 8:
Rocket plow
3.2.1 Special Plough – soil conditions application in the
mud flats (Source:
The soil-mechanical processes affecting Föckersperger
cohesive and non-cohesive soils during GmbH)

3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology 7


Plough and plough blade are mounted to occur along the pipeline course, but also cutting head itself, to excavate the path
a rig with special tyres which can be when sensitive natural habitats need for the protection pipe.
adjusted in height and track width by crossing and damage has to be avoided. In reference to the size of drillable
means of hydraulics, therefore, The choice of the right method depends obstacles, the pipe diameter itself should
application is no problem even in mainly on pipe diameter, length of the be either small enough to bore through
inaccessible terrains or when crossing bore, geology and geo-technical without upsetting the position, or large
shallow offshore waters. In 2003, the conditions. The dimensions, depth, enough to recover these obstacles. The
most spectacular application took place excavating and set-up of the start and protection pipes have lengths of 6 – 12
across the north German mud-flats, target pits, the size (dimensions) of the metres and are welded together
when a 5 km long water line to the small required working space as well as the successively. You have to make sure of
island Nordstrandischmoor was measures for ground water drainage the roundness and a smooth surface of
ploughed in (Figure 8). differ from one method to the other. the pipe in order to keep the friction
Lines with small diameters are also The composition and structure of the down.
installed, even in bundles, with track ground in the geo-technical sense is the An overcut or the application of pipe
warning tape and a daily performance of decisive factor for the completion of any lubrication can reduce the pipe friction
up to 2000 – 3000 metres. The so-called drilling job, a fact, which has to be caused by forward thrust. In extreme
rocket plough is available for larger acknowledged by carrying out a cases, the friction forces and the jacking
pipelines, steel lines up to OD 350 and sufficient survey beforehand. forces may lead to deformation of the
cast iron pipelines up to ND 250 have
pipe and stop the forward thrust.
been ploughed in until this day. In 2003, a 3.3.1 Auger Boring
special ATV-DVWK-M139 leaflet was In the starting pit, the thrust pipe is
published, which documents all his bore technique uses a protection aligned exactly to the target and runs
application ranges, requirements and pipe which is pressed forward, while an relatively stable in its direction, if no outer
quality assurance. auger removes the spoil at the same forces affect the steel pipe. Any
time. This method can be used for occurring intercalations or hard layers
The plough method is particularly
almost any soil type. However, it is lying diagonally to the thrust direction
suitable for rural areas with a low
necessary to observe the stability of the can divert the installation from the
population density, great pipeline lengths
soil structure. Non-cohesive soils and desired direction. The installation takes
with only a few connections
larger stones cause problems; the first the course of the weakest resistance.
underground. Up to now, this method
has only been used for pressure lines. have a tendency to flowthe second must Especially sliding upward makes it hard
Crossing small shallow waters and be easily smashed to pieces to keep the to keep the direction.
installing pipes in slopes is no technical passages of the auger unblocked. A larger bore diameter may be helpful
problem due to the plough construction If the soil conditions are unstable, the because it maintains the exact position
with universally adjustable wheel auger flight must be pulled back behind of the medium pipe which is going to be
extensions. the cutting shoe in order to avoid installed, the remaining annulus is filled in
The utilisation of the plough method has breakage of the position front. Otherwise correspondingly. If the thrust pipe gets
proved its economic and eco-friendly the auger can work directly in the cutting stuck, however, over-boring in counter-
value for pipe installation below ground shoe area or even be equipped with a heading may help to complete the bore.
water level. Unpaved terrain is a pre-
condition and there should be no larger
obstacles in the track. Before the
Table 1: Soil type classification
installation can commence, the exact
position of crossing lines and the
underground conditions in the line path
must be determined.
The method is remarkably efficient, time-
saving and eco-friendly, because the
excavation of trenches is not necessary,
the track of the plough is simply
smoothed down. A very economical,
ecological, proven and versatile
technique with only minimal underground
impact is offered to the customer and

3.3 Trenchless Installation

There is a great number of techniques
and methods for underground and
trenchless installation. They all belong to
the category of ramming, fluid assisted
drilling and microtunnelling methods.
Mainly roads and railway tracks are
crossed with ramming and drilling
techniques; the other method, HDD, is
also used for undercrossing larger rivers
and their foreland.
The trenchless method is the obvious
alternative, not only when obstacles

8 3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology


If nothing else helps, the thrust must be

given up and filled back.
A certain control of the bore path is
possible when using a slanted drill pipe,
which can be twisted by a hydraulic
facility (hydraulic wrench) in the starting
pit to turn the pipe into the desired
direction. One-sided pressure applica-
tion to the flexible thrust pipe is also
possible (rudimentary articulation of the
casing near the head activated by rods)
with suitable steering presses. Because
refractions are to be expected, a support Fig. 9: Steel pipe ramming – Scheme (Source: Tracto-Technik GmbH)
with laser only makes sense if the auger
flight has its own protection pipe.
The use of water for discharging the soil
should be carried out by an experienced beads of spiral welded pipes have to be been taken care of. Larger pipe
crew, or not at all. The risk of collapsing smoothed level with the pipe material in diameters call for manual soil removal
is very high, the stability of the roads or the area of the segment fitting depth in with other auxiliary devices.
railway tracks which are being crossed, order to prevent point pressure. Typical for the ramming technique, next
can no longer be guaranteed. Large The casing friction of the inner or outer to all the general advantages of
amounts of water may flow out if a pipe is reduced by cutting shoes creating trenchless construction:
collapse like this happens beneath the a free-cut. Bentonite simplifies pipe • simple, easy-to-transport equipment
river bed. installation by lubricating the pipe. Due
• minimal job site set-up
The pits are rather large because they to its very small displacement volume in
have to accommodate the pipe length the area around the cutting shoe, heave • short equipping and propulsion times
and the forward thrust facility; the finish of the ground or street surface can be • installation without elaborate
may be elaborate, depending on the ruled out even for thin covers. This abutments
depth, perhaps it will need water-proof means, work can commence even from
• soil removal after the installation is
shoring or drainage. It also means a lot of shallow pit depths.
work to remove the bore cuttings from Using a pneumatic lifting cushion, the
the often rather deep pits. • relative aiming precision
rammer is precisely positioned axially
Typical application ranges are diameters behind the pipe and tightly fastened with Results of the advantages listed above
from 8 – 50 inches, larger diameters straps. It is driven by a normal job site and their consequent practical
should be installed using the micro- compressor. Due to the robust one-piece implementation: Due to the technical
tunnelling method because of the construction, an impact energy of 40000 point of view, the Deutsche Bahn AG
positional accuracy, smaller diameters kN can be achieved with the largest (German Railway Company) prefers this
are handled best with the displacement Tracto-Technik rammer at full capacity, method to other crossing methods. And
method. Bore lengths are approximately which is passed on to the whole pipe the Ruhrgas AG, a large German gas
250 ft; precision lies with +/- 1 percent of string in an optimal way. The installation supplier, rates the method as
the driven length. has an average speed of 15 m/h. After recommendable.
the ramming work is concluded, the pipe
3.3.2 Ramming Method is emptied completely, using water 3.3.3 Variations in Ramming
pressure in combination with Technology
The ramming method is an efficient,
quickly accessible and feasible method compressed air or water pressure alone - The Ruhrgas AG has investigated the
for crossing streets, railway tracks and up to DN 500, this procedure is allowed direct installation of product pipes on
rivers. The pneumatically driven pipe with compressed air only, after the several job sites. The impact energy and
ramming machines install open steel appropriate security measures have its effects as well as the occurring stress
pipes as jacket or product pipes with
diameters up to 4000 mm and lengths up
to 80 m without pressing abutments, in
soil formations up to class 5 (partially
even through clastic rock), see Figure 9
and Figure 10.
The rammer, driven by compressed air,
has a cylindrical shape with a cone for
connecting add-on cones, cotter
segments and/or soil removal cones or
adapters which establish the tight-fitting
connection between the machine and
the pipe. Due to the two gaps in the soil
removal cones or adapters, part of the Fig. 10:
tension of the spoil which is carried Ramming large
along, is released. The application of teel pipes
cotter segments prevents flaring up of (max. ND 4000)
the pipes and enables butt-welding of (Source: Tracto-
the single pipe lengths. The welding Technik GmbH)

3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology 9


Fig. 11: Slickbore application: 1. Bore pipe ramming Slickbore application: 2. Pipe pulling (Source: Tracto-Technik GmbH)

of the thrust pipes was measured. The function, they are mainly made of steel are required and the sewer pipe is the
evaluation proved that it is unnecessary concrete, stone ware, glass-fibre installation pipe at the same time. Within
to add any additional design loads or reinforced concrete, cast iron or steel. the range of large diameters, curved
precaution correction values to the Microtunnelling is the further deve- drives are possible.
calculation of the thrust pipes, the pipes lopment of conventional pipe driving to a With the suitable choice of cutting tools a
are not damaged by this method. We remotely controlled one. Originally it was wide soil spectrum can be excavated;
come to the following conclusion: under developed for the unmanned, on-target there are suitable working techniques
consideration of certain constructional driving for short distances of little more from sand and gravel to rock. Decisive
measures, this method is recom- than 100 metres, but meanwhile it results factor is the service life of the tools,
mendable for pipe installation on a large in the already mentioned diameters and which must be long enough to reach the
scale. In order to go easy on the gas distances of several hundred metres. target shaft or at least the next
pipes, a reusable impact pipe should be Typical driving lengths – without intermediate shaft. Long distance drives
placed between the product pipe and the intermediate jacking stations – are can be carried out by using intermediate
horizontal rammer. Furthermore, care between 100 and 250 metres. The jacking stations.
should be taken, not to impair lines or maximal driving lengths to be achieved Furthermore, there is little settlement
buildings in the neighbourhood by depend on the pipe type, bearable strain with this method. If handled properly, the
occuring vibrations. from the jacking propulsion forces, soil pressure at the cutting face can be build
Another variation of the ramming conditions, measures of possible friction up against standing soil and water
technique is the so-called slick boring. reduction and the thrust capacity of the pressure, the driven void is immediately
This technique utilises a horizontal main jacks. secured by the thrust pipe. Bentonite is
rammer to drive home a protection pipe. also used as a drilling fluid for this
At the beginning, the term micro-
After removing the soil, the medium pipe technique. Its task is to support the
tunnelling was used as the description of
is connected. With a winch, an excavator cutting face, lubricate the annulus
non-accessible pipe driving up to DN
or some other pulling facility, the bore between pipe and soil and transport the
800 / DN 900 in Germany; meanwhile,
pipe is pulled and then the product pipe suspension charged with the cuttings.
thanks to the further development of this
takes its place (Figure 11). technology, lines up to 4 metres in Thus characteristic project parameters
Decisive assets are the advantages of diameter can be driven with remote are the pipe diameter, driving length,
the ramming method mentioned above, control. The largest possible pipe topography, depth of the start and target
in connection with the reusability of the diameter to be transported along our shafts and the soil condition. With this
rammed pipes and the economical, streets is the upper limit of the diameter. method, even geologically difficult terrain
direct, exact and gentle installation of can be bored over long distances.
This development was made possible by
coated pipeline pipes. The job site set-up consists of the pipe
the application of highly sensitive
The pipe roofing method is another jacking equipment assembled in the
measuring instruments, the installation of
variety for crossing embankments. In this starting shaft, a container with power unit
reliable control devices and the
case, a protective roof and the contour and control container, settlement tank,
adaptation of technologies used for
recycling unit for the soil-slurry-
for the intended multi-pipe tunnel is excavating huge tunnel constructions
suspension and a pipe storage. The set-
created by pipe-to-pipe ramming. After with slurry and earth pressure balanced up can be flexibly adapted to the
the excavated soil is removed and the shields. It includes, among others, the available space on sites. The standard
site-mixed concrete vault is prepared, a exact detection of pressures, volumes, shaft is 3.20 m in diameter and can be
passage for laying several lines has been inclinations in the installation area and a used for driving pipes up to ND 800 with
created. precise control via computer-aided 2 m length; recovery of the unit makes a
regulation and control facilities. target shaft of 2.0 m in diameter
3.3.4 Microtunnelling Microtunnelling was developed for the necessary. If the jacking frame is turned
Microtunnelling is a trenchless method linear and exactly steerable course of the around, it can also be used as a two-
which is carried out as an unmanned pipe path in height and position, these sided driving shaft. Larger pipe
pipe installation with fully automatic properties are specially required within diameters require individual launch
control. The jacking pipes are also the the area of gravity lines, where often only shafts, they are built for pipe lengths up
product pipes; depending on their a smooth inclination of the open channel to 3.5 m.

10 3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology


The installation of the jacking pipes is

monitored by a laser beam from the
prepared starting shaft. The operator in
the control container traces the
installation on the monitor. Steering
motions are carried out by the control
cylinders in the flexible bore head. A
cutting wheel excavates the soil,
supported by a slurry-water suspension.
The suspension flows into the annulus
between pipe and soil, reducing pipe
friction; the outer walls of the following
pipes are also frequently lubricated with
Bentonite suspension by an automatic
lubrication system to keep the friction
low. Fig. 12: Microtunneling: schematic drawing
The suspension, mixed with the cuttings
is pumped up by means of its own fluid
circulation (supply and conveyor pipe) to installation in urban regions with high- Corresponding to the complete range of
a separation unit and, thus refreshed, quality surfaces, in crossing difficult diameters, lengths, materials and
returned to the conveying circulation, terrain with big covers, beneath high functions of the planned pipelines,
spoilt suspension is disposed. ground water levels and everywhere else, drilling units of different sizes and
Installation in ground water is possible where restricted spaces does not admit capacities are available, and naturally
without lowering, because the jacking large installation areas. also recommendations, rules and
thrust pipe leaves the shaft through a directions of the manufacturers, users,
waterproof seal and enters the prepared 3.3.5 Horizontal Directional Drilling production engineers and contractors.
target shaft in the same manner. The (HDD) All kinds of different organisations – for
shafts themselves are established using When talking about HDD technology, the example the national associations for
a lowering technique with underwater first thought concerns the drilling of large trenchless techniques like the german
excavation, a waterproof ground plate is diameters covering gigantic distances. GSTT and the ISTT as its international
also mounted (Figure 12). However, the HDD technique is also umbrella organisation, or DCA-Europe
The application of the microtunnel boring suitable for short distances and pipes (Drilling Contractors Association) and its
machines (MTBM) can be adapted to the with just a few centimetres in diameter. American sister organisation DCCA – are
geo-technical conditions; constructed as Almost all pipe materials, particularly devoted to the task of drawing up
an earth pressure balanced or slurry plastic pipes, but also steel, cast iron and guidelines and sharing experience
machine it combines a large number of asbestos cement pipes can be pulled in. amongst all persons concerned with the
greatly differing bore heads. Almost any horizontal drilling technique.
Besides pipelines for the transportation
soil formation – finest loam, sand, gravel and distribution of fluid and gaseous
to rock - can be excavated The Method
media, meanwhile also irrigation and
Of course, exact knowledge of the The HDD method installs hollow rods
drainage lines, slope fortifications,
geology and the groundwater conditions underground, using percussive rotational
contaminant detection, underground
is necessary to carry out the installation and pressure forces. The slanted bore
sanitation and the connection of off-
successfully and without interruption. head or a drill bit with a bent sub is
shore plants are accomplished by means
Important parameters are stability, mounted to the tip. Via the hollow rods
of HDD.
particle size, water contents, plasticity, which are bored in a shooting manner, a
But first of all, it is a method to install Bentonite suspension under pressure is
ground compactness, consistency and
pipes underground – bypassing any kind carried to the tip of the drill; if rock boring
of underground obstacles. Directional heads are applied, this suspension is
In pipeline construction, the microtun- drilling is a construction method having also used for driving the mud motors.
nelling method is suitable for crossing less negative impact on environment and The so-called walk-over system is used
difficult terrain. Protection pipes are nature than any open-cut method.. It is as location system for the pilot bore; this
installed for the inserted product pipe. applied in cases, where any other known is a transmitter (drill tip) – receiver
Establishing a so-called multipipe installation technique would be either combination (surface), working by means
protection pipe for installing several impossible or only possible with a fairly of electro-magnetism to locate the
single pipes could also be an option. great expenditure. position of the bore head (Figure 13).
The longest installation of this kind ever Like any other trenchless method, the Deviations are detected and corrected by
heard of was the shore approach of the diameter and length of the pipeline as a steering motion. The application range
Statoil gas pipelines through the mud- well as the geology with its geo-technical is only a few metres. For complex bores
flats near Dornumer Siel. Reinforced effects play an important role. The drilling with existing disturbing influences, a
concrete pipes were jacked beneath a fluid has an important function – it is separate magnetic field is build up.
dyke and into the tie-in chamber in the responsible for the support of the Larger units use the MWD principle
North Sea. This was a long distance excavation, support and transportation (measurement while drilling); originally, it
heading with more than 2.8 km; the of the soil, but also for reducing jacket comes from the deep bore technique and
concrete pipe, which accommodates friction when the pipe is pulled in. Just as transmits the data determined by the
two 1000 mm gas lines, has an OD of 3.8 important , of course, is the location and sensors lying directly behind the bore
meters. control of the drilling unit in order to head back by cable.
The advantages of microtunnelling can perform the installation of the line in the The drilling fluid is a composition of
be seen within the area of protection pipe intended path. water and Bentonite (a natural mineral)

3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology 11


of the HDD rig itself, the power units,

storing arrangements, a unit for mixing
and recycling the drilling fluid as well as
the control stand (Figure 14). On the pipe
side, the pipe string is laid out,
connected and brought to the installation
place on suitable facilities (roller blocks,
slide surfaces).
Drilling and pulling-in operations are
continually carried out without
interruption, if possible. When the bore is
Fig. 13: HDD scheme: pilot bore, reaming bores, pipe pulling (Source: Tracto-Technik GmbH)
complete, its course is measured and
recorded; then it is time for the required
finishing works. The site is cleared,
abutments of the HDD rig are removed,
collecting pits are emptied, refilled and
smoothed down, remains of the drilling
fluid are disposed and the area is
restored to its original or previously
stipulated condition. HDD – Machine Technique

The DCA provides 4 classes for HDD rigs
(Table 2):
In each category, the bore rigs have
different substructures, i. e. an under-
carriage (rubber tracks, wheels) with own
drive, a trailer or a steel frame mounted
on supports; this is crucially decisive for
the mobility on site, lifting capacity, size
of the transportation unit and assembly
and disassembly times.
The Grundodrill – Bore Rig 20 S
manufactured by Tracto-Technik, for
Fig. 14: Rig side work space example, belongs to the midi class. With
a pushing and pulling force of
approximately 20 t, pipe diameters up to
600 mm and lengths up to 500 m can be
and special additives, if required. It hard rocky conditions. Forward reaming, pulled in. The built-in percussive hammer
supports loosening and movement of the for which the reaming tool is twisted has a capacity of 280 kN of additional
soil near the working face, reduces forward from the side of the rig, using the ramming force; allowing installation of
friction of the rods and the pipe when it is pilot bore for guidance, is also popular. the rods even in rocky soils. With this
pulled in and transports the cuttings The product pipe is pulled in with the last percussive unit, the application area of
away through the bore hole. The reaming action. Depending on diameter the rig is considerably larger than
suspension loaded with spoil is recycled and soil type, it is sometimes better to without. Special equipment for solid rock
and freshened up above the ground and perform a stabilising reaming process boring with a functional rock drilling
returned to the fluid circulation once with the same diameter before pulling in engine is also available (Figure 15).
the pipe. A swivel is linked between the Recently a contract for a 450 t HDD
The drilling fluid should fulfill its task even pipe string and the rotating rods which mega-class unit has been awarded to
in permeable undergound; additives allows transmission of the pulling forces Prime Drilling; it is intended for projects
improve the composition. alone . up to 2 km in length with pipe diameters
Normally drilling in ground water causes On the rig side, the site set-up consists up to 52“.
no problems. Still, the pressure and flow
conditions should be watched closely in
order to avoid uncontrolled diffusion.
Components, like minerals (salts) and the Table 2: HDD rig classification
nature of groundwater (pH-value) might
affect the stability and function of the
drilling fluid.
As soon as the pilot bore has been
established, the bore canal is upsized to
the required diameter in one or more
working steps with additional drilling
fluid. Upsizing tools chosen to match the
soil conditions are used; barrel reamers
for soft formations, fly cutters for
medium-hard soils and hole openers for

12 3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology


Fig. 15: pipeline in the bore hole can also

HDD midirig compulsory powers, depending on lift or
Grundodrill 20 S: drift. Depending on the diameter and the
pilot bore
geological underground, the factor 2 – 3
is recommended as the security
correction value. HDD Projects – Aspects of

Permissions concerning building rights,
environmental rights and crossings
should be known and available at an
early stage. The content of this
permission must correspond exactly with
the chosen method, the applied
technique and the time schedule.
The contractor must procure the
permissions concerning traffic rights
(transportation, import and export
regulations etc.), working rights (working HDD Projects - Basics technical standards of the DCA or the times, holidays, exceptional permits
In order to guarantee the feasibility and DCCA; however, a few of the standard etc.), environmental rights (water rights,
success of a project, the client has to values are listed below: withdrawal, discharge, disposal etc.) as
provide basics concerning the place of The entry and exit angles should be well as the country-specific rights on his
installation. One important point is the between 6 and 15 degrees; smaller own accord.
topography with site layout, view from angles for larger pipe diameters, larger Delivery and removal of the bore rig can
the top, terrain profile and the depths of angles for smaller bending radii of the be a great logistic achievement because
groundwater levels. These parameters pipe. of the distances and often limited
give a first impression of the possible accessibility to the job sites. This is also
The first and last bore sections should be
bore path, the distance to certain fixed valid for delivering spare parts to the site;
straight and phase out without bending
spots and the best way to arrange the water should be available in the nearest
radius; 10 – 20 m for large bores and 5 m
job site. The term geology includes vicinity, energy is generated by the
historic surveys as well as viewing and for smaller bores.
corresponding diesel aggregates.
evaluation of available documents which The type of load, drill rods or pipeline,
allow conclusions concerning existing has to be considered for the minimum The right of way and access should be
buildings underground. Prospective bending radius; the bending radius of the provided by the customer at an early
drilling and sounding out give a good upper bend must also be taken into stage; provision of the required area in
insight of the layers and composition of account when pulling in. sufficient size and condition is also
the soil; geo-physical investigations important. A surface of 50 x 50 metres on
Regard the different definitions for the the rig side is easily occupied, even
complement these results concerning depth of coverage. The 10 - 15 fold pipe
the boundaries of layers. without the drilling fluid pits; on the pipe
diameter is recommended for offshore side, the length of the stretch with
The following laboratory tests and the waters; due to the risk of blow-outs, working stripes for heavy machines on
interpretation of the results and findings, values < 5 metres are critical. Country- the side and the working surface at
under consideration of the applicable relevant criteria concerning streets,
drilling technique, should lead to a pulling point at the heading have to be
landing runways and railway tracks must maintained.
reliable statement in the ground be maintained.
expertise concerning the feasibility of the When pulling in the pipe, which is
A factor of 1.2 (low-friction, stable normally made of steel, ductile cast iron
project in the building ground expertise.
underground) to 1.5 (unstable soil with or HDPE, the effects of the material
Further statements concerning external caving-in tendency) is the approximate
lines, buildings underground and characteristics in the varying installation
value for the relation pipe to bore phases must be considered. Special care
climatologic and hydrographical diameter [DCA].
conditions and their characteristics must be taken to protect the pipe and to
within the site should also be available. According to the DCA, the calculation of avoid damage to cover, coating or lining.
the required pulling force can be Consideration of the bending degree, HDD Projects – Project conducted according to the Netherlands maintaining the bending radius, laying
Conception Standard NEN 3651 or the American out the pipe line during the pulling
AGA method. The greatest pulling force process and providing a stable and clear
The basics of project conception [DCA], makes an appearance at the end of the bore hole are futher important factors
or the determination of the bore profile pulling process, when the whole pipe
result from A major aspect is the composition and
string is almost completely underground. recycling of the drilling fluid. The soil
• entry and exit angles When dimensioning the bore rig itself conditions determine the amount of
• first and last bore section according to the pulling force, other Bentonite and possible additives. The
• bending radii operation conditions must also be quality of the drilling fluid plays a huge
considered; for example, starting out part in the success of the bore. The
• depth of coverage
after longer standstill times during the better the drilling fluid is adapted to the
• overcut factor pulling process, or when the bore hole soil with regards to bearing capacity, gel
Detailed information concerning the has collapsed the required pulling force structure, flowing properties, lubrication,
points above can be found in the must be higher. The position of the filtrate value and swelling capacity the

3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology 13


Fig. 16: These data are entered into a calculation

Overview of HDD program. The entry of dead lines and
jobsite times for every single working step, of
(Prime Drilling)
costs for machines and staff give the
time limit and calculative values for the
building process. Performance - Shore Crossing

HDD belongs to the favoured installation
techniques for pipelines in shore areas.
The bore commences from the land side
and into the sea. Entry and exit points of
the bore are positioned to keep
disruption of the surroundings as slight
as possible.
In our example (Cliffhead Development
Project) the job site is arranged
approximately 400 metres behind the
dunes; HDD drill rig, mixing, storage,
pump and recycling unit, workshop and
stem storage are accommodated on a
surface of 50 x 50 metres (Figure 16).
On the sea side, the pilot bore emerges
from the sea bed, approximately 600
metres away from the shore, in a water
depth of around 6 m; the backreamer
and, after the reaming processes, the
medium pipe also, enter the bore hole
from a swimming platform.
Another popular method is to place the
horizontal drill rig on a pontoon or a
barge, in order to install the line in
better the stabilising effect for the pilot recycling unit makes sense or is even shallow water without trench and in great
bore and the upsized bore hole is, not necessary. The maximal drilling fluid single lengths – diameter-dependent up
forgetting the friction reduction when the volume consists of to 2000 metres.
pipe is pulled in. The water is either taken • volume of the bore (diameter x length)
from waters nearby and filtered or it flows 3.3.6 Combination of Drill and
directly from a hydrant or water tank. • loss due to the filter cake Ramming Technique
Drilling fluids must have a high bearing • loss due to precipitation The co-operation between drill and
capacity together with the current, they • volume of the mixing system ramming technique has secured the
must prevent the sinking of the cuttings completion of a HDD bore several times
For a bore of 1,500 m length, 1066 mm before. The multiple applications are:
along the bore course. During circulation,
steelpipe and a bore diameter of 1600
sinking can be avoided by a sufficient § driving an auxiliary tunnel
mm, this adds up to a volume of 4,000
viscosity; standstill times have a negative
m3 and some 100 tons of Bentonite, § supporting the pipe pull
which continually has to be separated § pulling the drill rods
Manufacturers claim, that the stability of from the cuttings and completed again.
the bore hole can be improved, swelling When the auxiliary tunnel method is
of the soil avoided and stickiness of the The practical performance can be used, the formations which cannot be
tools prevented with the right additives. supported by software tools like the PD bored are holed through and the spoil is
But the stability of the produced bore software „Drill Guard“, which is applied removed by an auger. The drill rods are
canal remains the most important factor from the projecting stage on. Based on pulled through the protection pipe and
for low-friction and damage-free pipe the data of fundamental investigation the HDD rig carries out the further bore,
pulling. and planning, specific data of the HDD- protected by the partial pipe work.
rig, parameters of the pipeline and A pilot bore running off course can also
A mixing unit, driven by electrics or
handicaps due to existing constraints, be “captured” from the target side. The
hydraulics, can guarantee the supply of
the ideal bore path is determined. protection pipe is rammed into the space
high-quality drilling fluids for the drill rig.
The interaction of the components drill The evaluation of the maximal pulling created by the bore head tip, cleared
rig and mixing and recycling unit must be forces is helpful for choosing the most again and then used as an auxiliary
compatible; the permanent supply with suitable HDD rig. The different operation tunnel for the pilot bore to emerge in the
fresh suspension is a must for friction- conditions, caused by the alternating direction of the target area (Figure 17).
free drilling action. The size of the filling up of the pipe string while pulling, With the support of the ramming
collecting basin, separation and buffing are also taken into consideration. technology Grundoram, many HDD
capacity must also be adequate. Calculation of the hydraulic parameters bores have already been preserved from
Bentonite is available in big packs for determine the required fluid, amount of failure of the bore or the pipe pulling. The
large units. Bentonite and additive, flowing speed ramming machine is placed onto the drill
For bores which require a large amount and soil discharge quantity during the rods or medium pipe during pipe pulling,
of suspension, i.e. rock boring, a single reaming operations. and helps to keep the drill rods or the

14 3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology


Fig. 17:
Pipe ramming the building measures are involved, from
assisting pipe the highest national level down to any
pulling private association; maybe elsewhere the
(Source: Tracto- regional policy and compulsory approval
Technik GmbH) proceedings are not quite as intensive as
in Germany. Whether the project
executing organization is the government
or a company with private legal form,
may also be crucial.

4.2 Bore Path Concept and

Preparation/Building Ground
Planning of the intended bore path and
calculation of the axis points can
commence, as soon as ownership
information relating to the path has been
obtained and the right of way can be
The measurements accompanying the
construction include staking out the path
points, line measurement in the open
pipe passage continuously in motion are considered. EBRD or IFC, for trench, listing the welding seams and
with its impact support. instance, have their guidelines for their presentation in cross-sections
If the drill rods break while reaming, for carrying out their own “due diligence“ of including the depth of coverage, they are
instance, the ramming machine is placed a project. Besides the economical used to document the new line
onto the remaining rods and the course aspects, the financial backers also look installation.
of recovery is supported by impact out for the results and recommendations Taking stock, considering the given
energy, while the excavator takes over coming from the EIS – the Environmental topography and seeking information
the pulling process. Impact Statements (e. g. FERC) and the concerning existing lines in the bore path
Environmental and Social Impact area are preparations for drawing up
3.4 Alternatives to HDD - Installation Assessments (ESIA) – see the example of inventory records according to DIN 2425,
Alternatives to the HDD technique are the BTC project. DIN 18702 and supplementing
pipe driving techniques and crossings in For the conception, construction, regulations of the customer.
open trenches; these may be performed operation and maintenance of pipelines, In distributing line construction, an
in flowing water, after the stream has the guidelines of the OPS (Office of overview building ground investigation
been by-passed (loop solution), or with Pipeline Safety), an organisation of the for the stretch selected to accommodate
barriers on one side and the help of a U.S. Department of Transportation, are the bore path is drawn up, no matter if
sheet piling box. valid in the United States. The the open-cut or the trenchless method is
Lifting or floating the prepared pipe line Departments for Energy and used. The investigation includes the
siphon into position requires extensive Environment are also involved. Further search for karstic terrain, loam pockets
preparations and elaborate equipment. It parties involved in the approving process or voids close to the surface, soils with a
may even become necessary to build are the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory high settling phenomenon, i.e. peat
bridges for the reception of the pipeline. Commission) or the national oil and gas moor, mud, coarse clay, sea clay, limnic
Usually alternatives, for example the institutions (API), or else they publish chalk etc., slippery zones or ground
bridge solutions, are less economical or corresponding standards, like the ASCE water deposits in the bore path. Now is
even cause additional costs for service – American Society of Civil Engineers. also the time to clarify the depth of the
and maintenance. The DVGW – Deutsche Gesellschaft des average and top ground water level
It is also common knowledge that these Gas- und Wasserfaches – is one of the (maximal level of the ground water), the
methods cause disruption to the leading institutions of the European underground flow conditions and where
surroundings, and often mar their beauty countries, which not only draws up the to evade spring and fountain water
permanently. A further aspect is the valid standards, but is also active in collecting areas.
potential safety risk due to the influence educating and qualifying the drilling and A course through mountain tracks may
of third parties. supervisory staff for pipeline installation. require additional slope securing
In many countries of the world, there are measures, tunnel tracks or descending
guidelines for pipeline installation, which gradients may need additional detailed
4. Underground Pipe Driving lean on the regulations of the OPS. In geo-technical investigations.
Methods - Demands Europe, the large pipeline operating When crossing waters, the water
4.1 Maintaining the International companies have their own installation regulations with the demanded minimum
Standards rules. There is co-ordination within the of coverage must be clarified, an
The regulations and the legal positions international gas union and the national investigation of the flow conditions,
naturally are diverse. Political visions associations like the DVGW in Germany. shoring and inclination of the banks is
sometimes are able to enforce certain Before concrete measures can be taken, also important. All regulations relevant
goals. Due to the practice of integrating a more or less intensive bureaucratic for the protection of forest and nature
international financial institutions like the process, including the public, takes must be heeded in forest regions, the
world bank, IFC, EBRD etc. in place in almost all cases. All public depth of the roots of the largest trees
transactions, certain regulating elements institutions which might be affected by also requires investigation. Possible

3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology 15


compensation areas within the 5 Potentials of Trenchless surrounding nature suffer from dust,
accompanying space around the pipe Installation noise and other deragations for many
line path for inevitable impairment of the weeks? How much is an adequate
5.1 Comparative Reflections on
natural balance must be included in the compensation for frustration and
Construction Methods
plans. annoyance due to the lost quality of life?
When comparing different construction
Already existing lines in the path area are Without comparing exact figures or one
methods, the first aspect is always the
handled in a similar way. Previously working method directly to the other, we
financial one, namely the direct costs.
installed utility lines require a certain intuitively come to the immediate
Indirect costs which are generated by the
distance to the new line; co-ordination conclusion, that the trenchless
impact of humans, nature and
with the operator line owner is necessary. environment are often ignored. The construction method prevents many of
Access roads to the bore path and emission of dust, noise and exhaust gas the previously discussed disadvantages
driving possibilities on site have to be during the complete working time is the right from the start, also before
considered, also the space for pipe first great disturbance factor. commissioning the pipelines. Let us not
storage, mass balance, assembly and forget the fact, that often there is no
These costs are not economically alternative to trenchless installation.
disassembly of the machines; final check interesting for a project, but the effects
paths, landscaping and access to on the complete commercial life must not
compressing and monitoring stations are 5.2 Economical Aspects
be swept under the carpet; they toggle
included in the plan. mobility, cause delays, lead to loss in The crucial question, which method is
sales, reduce productivity or even more economical, often has no simple
endangering the earnings for a living. All answer. There are too many individual
4.3 Pre-Conditions for Final Checks
over the world, there are still regions with building projects, the marginal conditions
The more detailed determination of the are manifold.
bore path course should also include the inhabitants who depend completely on
an intact natural environment. For Basically, drawing a comparison
possibility for constant pipeline check.
farmers in barren regions, the between the different methods and their
Helicopter landing and constant pipeline
maintenance or unrestricted utilisation of costs for construction only makes sense
checks should be possible. Also, the
their few fertile fields is vital; fishermen for a concrete project. Still the few
preconditions for installing parallel data
rely on their intact fishing grounds. extensive examinations and attempts to
lines and control cables, i. e. for the
A further aspect are consequential costs make the costs more transparent by
operation and control of the stations,
due to the work itself, which often occur evaluating documents and numerals are
should be given from the beginning.
when operations are not carried out well appreciated. Without going into
correctly. Who is charged with the costs details or trying to evaluate the method,
4.4 Building-Technological for overhauling works on street surfaces, the results of such examinations shall be
Advantages and Specifications who pays for subsequent treatment due summarized in the following.
As soon as the parameters listed in point to settlement of unprofessional One example is the examination carried
4.1 to 4.4 have been clarified, the backfilling, when the guarantee periods out by NRC – the National Research
decision is made, whether the course is have run out and the enterprises can no Council in Canada. This examination
of poor surface quality and can be longer be made liable for damage. from June 2002 is based on 174 projects;
worked with open trench methods, or The open-cut construction method they all are projects of different lengths
whether their high-quality and causes consequential costs, because and diameters, carried out with different
demanding surface is predestined for the normally stable soil formations are construction methods. In reference to the
horizontal drilling technique. disturbed by the building measures; average costs per mm in diameter and
Usually this is valid for all water damaged slopes start moving, erosions metre in length of all projects, the
crossings, traffic way crossings, crossing lead to earth movings, surfaces without relations of the costs for HDD to pipe
of biotopes and nature conservation vegetation are generated. Consequential jacking to micro-tunnelling are 1 : 1.44 :
terrains, all tunnels and almost every costs due to the breakage of pipelines 3.2; compared with open trench
precipice track. The horizontal drilling already in operation are hard to calculate. methods, the costs for the projects
technique is also recommendable for all which have been carried out using the
Consequential costs are also caused by
terrains with a high ground water level HDD technique lie 23% below the costs
line operation: the Peace River was
and soils with a high settling behaviour, in for open trench methods. When only
crossed by a HDD bore of 3600 ft (1039
order to avoid unnecessary expenditure. m) in length and 36-in in diameter to diameters were compared, the
In karstic terrains and regions with install the Alliance Gas Pipeline - the trenchless projects up to 940 mm were
exposed rocks and poor vulnerable soils, difficulty degree was generally also always cheaper, but above 960 mm,
the horizontal drilling technique is also acknowledged; as a back-up option in some open trench projects were more
the best choice. case of a failure of the HDD bore, an economical.
The space requirements of the horizontal elaborate and extremely expensive The Final Report of the King County
drilling technique are usually smaller than suspension bridge (two pylons, main Project also shows the cost advantages
those of soil moving machines, but if spanning width 490 m, width of the two of the HDD – technique clearly, when
large drill rigs are used, the space for side spannings 245 m each ) for the compared to microtunnelling. When
drilling fluid recycling units, suspension reception of the pipeline was planned, single projects are compared, we come
material storage and sedimentation paired off with the costs for maintenance to the conclusion, that the HDD method
basin must also be regarded. The access and servicing for many years. dominates the installation of pressure
tracks (set-ups of the bore) for siphons When confronted with the decision for an and gradient lines, because the precision
and crossings must not be forgotten. installation using the open-cut or of position and height is not so important
Companies with exceptional drilling trenchless method, we must not for these lines. But don’t forgt there are
equipment naturally also offer planning compare the costs alone, sometimes it is also the consequential charges and long-
and calculation software for horizontal also a question of building culture. Is it lasting life cycle costs
drilling projects. really allowed to let residents and the Trenchless Technologies have proved

16 3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology


their value in practice; the methods are would make open-cut installation the consumer. A high-quality
up to the technical standard and have impossible. underground installation hardly disturbs
showed their economic advantages. In The economic aspect must not be the building ground stability, thus
order to apply these techniques forgotten – this installation method can preventing breakage and damage to the
successfully, their potentials but also actually save money while construction pipelines and making their operation
their limits have to be examined carefully and under operation. An determined bore relatively safe. Consequential damage of
for every new project. path is often only possible because of the surface or the environment is almost
trenchless installation, detours are unlikely.
5.3 A Contribution to the Availability of avoided, time and money consuming But not only large transportation
Energy discussions are prevented, the utilisation pipelines are important, further
Beside transportation by ship, pipelines of soil and grounds is only interrupted for distribution networks are required for
assure the supply for the consumer. the residents in certain spots or not at all urban regions and cities. With growing
Trenchless techniques play a big part in – expenditure for compensation is population, especially in urban regions,
pipeline construction; often they are the reduced. trenchless technologies become
focus of attention. They allow the Trenchless Technologies help to make essential for installing lines for gas, water
installation of paths in topographic, geo- pipeline installation more profitable and and other media quickly, economically
technical or technical conditions which enable the safe and economic supply for and safely.

3R inter national 43 (2004) Special Steel Pipeline Technology 17