WorldWide Drilling Resource®

The Diversity of Horizontal Directional Drilling Compiled by Bonnie Love, Editor, WorldWide Drilling Resource ® Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) is used in several areas of the drilling industry, making it a very diverse drilling method. Utility contractors can install cables and pipelines with very little disruption to the surface. Construction companies use this method to place highway ducts, and water lines under existing roads, rivers, or other sensitive areas. The gas and oil industry has used HDD technology to increase production from underperforming wells. Environmental reme- diation of contaminated sites is another area where this method is very beneficial. The idea was conceived by Martin Cherrington, often hailed as "the father of HDD", in the 1960s. He was working for a utility installation company in California, and witnessed another company doing work using a handheld air drill to install a gas line. Cherrington familiarized him- self with the concept of guided drilling, then he took it further, much further. Although each project is different, the HDD process typically consists of four steps. The first step is the pilot hole. The pilot hole follows a carefully plotted boring path. The path continues under and across obstacles, while an electronic transmitter, located directly behind the drill head, sends a signal of the bit’s exact location to a receiver on the surface. This information is relayed to the drill operator, who is able to steer the bore in any direction. The next step involves making the pilot hole the right diameter for the conduit. This is done by prereaming the borehole to successively larger diameters until it has reached the correct diameter. The third step is the pullback. This is where the conduit, placed at the opposite side of the rig, is pulled through the bore- hole. The reamer, attached to the drill string, is fastened to the conduit with a pulling head and swivel. The pulling head and swivel allow the reamer to turn without rotating the conduit. Once the conduit is in place, the final step is pulling the product into position. When HDD is used to install a utili- ty, the size and length of the conduit, as well as soil conditions will determine the size and push/pull capacity of the HDD rig needed. When HDD is used, normal busi- ness operations and traffic are not inter- rupted. In addition to reducing surface damage, site restoration is minimized with HDD, making it a great solution for drilling in environmentally sensitive areas. 15 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® AUGUST 2020 TAKE 5 for Safety Adapted from Information by Major Drilling Because drilling is a field with at-risk activities, Major Drilling focuses every day to bring a proactive approach to the health and safety of its employees, which helps valued partners know they are prepared. “The TAKE 5 risk assessment is an impor- tant training tool we use to ensure employees understand how to avoid injuries and unsafe sit- uations,” explained Ben Graham, Major Drilling’s vice president of human resources and safety. TAKE 5 is simple, memorable, and easy to learn. It empowers employees to act on their rights to work safely every day. The TAKE 5 risk assessment spec- ifies these five critical steps to work safely: 1. Think Through the Task 2. Look for the Exposure 3. Assess the Risk 4. Take Precautions 5. Do the Job Safely EXB WWDR photo of Cherrington as he was one of the initial inductees of the HDD Hall of Fame. DIR