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Thu November 30 2023

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US contractor claims drilling record

22 Nov 19 US contractor Michels has completed what it claims is a world record length of horizontal directional drilling (HDD).

The 2.5-mile (4km) drilling operation allowed the installation of a 500mm pipe under the Missouri River in North Dakota.

The project used the pilot-hole intersection method, which requires two rigs to drill simultaneously toward one another from both sides of the project and eventually meet near the middle. Gyroscopic guidance tools were used to keep the drilling precisely on the predetermined path.

Disturbance to the area was minimised by extending the bore path more than 80m below the bottom of the Lake Sakakawea Reservoir in the Missouri River.

Michels crews also assembled and handled the massive pipe string, which took 38 hours to pull into place in three sections.

The installation is part of a 16km pipeline between a compressor station and a natural gas gathering system in the Bakken shale oil fields in Williams County, North Dakota.  

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