Understanding the Process of Horizontal Drilling 0

Posted on 26, July 2016

in Category Uncategorized

Horizontal drilling is a four step process that is less invasive than trenching, yet more secure. The process allows you to work while avoiding surface obstacles like rivers and highways. For a deeper look inside horizontal directional drilling, take a look at the four steps in detail.

Geo survey and design.  Before any drilling takes place, there must be a detailed survey and mapping of the land under construction. Only then can a design be made for the project.

Pilot hole drilling. The launch and reception pits are excavated at both ends of the drilling line. Then, following the design profile, a pilot hole is drilled from launch to reception using a horizontal drilling equipment.

Expansion. The hole must be 25-50% wider in diameter than the pipe being installed. Therefore, an expansion of the pilot hole takes place—this process is called pre-reaming. Pre-reaming may take more than one round depending on the land and the size of the pipe.

Pullback. Once the hole has been completed, the pipe-line is connected. The pipe-line is pre-assembled in a single string and placed on rollers prior to pullback. Then, the drill pipe is connected to a reamer with a swivel—allowing the drill pipe to rotate throughout installation. The pip is then pulled back from the exit to the entry until fully installed.

Depending on the type of land, a certain fluid is pumped down the bore to the drill head throughout this process. This is to better remove cuttings, stabilize the bore hole, cool the cutting head and transmitter, and lubricate the passage of the pipe.

Once horizontal directional drilling is complete, land recovery time is minimal. This, and less hand labor are what make horizontal directional drilling preferred by most contractors as opposed to traditional trenching. For more information on horizontal drilling, contact Line-Ward today.


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