Award-winning crossing of Missouri River, again!

In 2021, HDD contractor Michels completed a 15,426 ft / 4,702 m pipeline crossing of Missouri River. This crossing was made possible with Brownline USA’s Drillguide Gyro Steering Technology and Radar add-on to enable a smooth intersect. We are proud to say that this impressive project has won Trenchless Technology’s Project of the Year award in the “New Installation” category!

With this extremely long crossing, a connection was established under Lake Sakakawea along Missouri River. The 24-inch pipeline is being constructed between compressor stations in Tioga, ND and Watford City, ND. This pipeline, which is owned by WBI Energy Transmission, increases the amount of natural gas that can be transported from the Bakken and Three Forks shale fields in North Dakota. Increasing transport capacity means less natural gas needs to be flared, so the resource is used much more efficiently.

A project of this size brings about certain challenges. One of the main difficulties during this crossing was maintaining acceptable annular pressures at a considerable underground depth (361 ft / 110 m). The Pressure-While-Drilling (PWD) module on the Drillguide GST was used to monitor the downhole pressures and avoid any inadvertent release of fluids.

For a crossing this long, the contractor needs to be able to rely on highly accurate measurements to be able to keep the drill from deviating from the planned bore path. Drillguide GST is the most accurate HDD steering tool available and thus the ideal tool for a project of this scope. The Radar Intersect add-on allowed for a smooth joining of the two boreholes. This tool calculates the exact distance between the two drill heads, which makes it possible to meet in the middle seamlessly.

In February 2022, the pipeline was made operational. It is able to transport up to 250 million cubic feet / 7 million cubic meters of natural gas per day.

This is the third year in a row that a project using Brownline’s GST and Radar has won this award. In 2021, Mears’ crossing of Rappahannock River won this award, and in 2020, it was another crossing of the Missouri River completed by Michels. The two Missouri River crossings are situated roughly 12 mi / 20 km apart.

We congratulate Michels and all involved on this award. Brownline is proud to be able to contribute to the constant evolution of the HDD industry. Read more on the Trenchless Technology website.

Click here for a short video by Michels covering this project.

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