Complex HDD intersect under a town center

In February 2024, Brownline surveyed an HDD crossing in the Dutch town of Markelo. Our client Holland Drilling carried out an intersect drilling with a length of 3200 ft / almost 1000 m. This was a challenging project because of the horizontal curves in the design and the intersect taking place under the heart of the town.

The goal of this project was to install new power cables from one end of the town to the other. These new cables will allow the region’s power grid to handle greater capacity. This is essential for the energy transition, because the capacity increase is necessary to supply infrastructure like charging stations. To minimize the disturbance, this cable connection was installed using horizontal directional drilling (HDD).

In order to reduce the annular pressures that play a factor in a HDD crossing of this length, the crossing was performed as an intersect, with two rigs drilling towards each other. The Drillguide Gyro Steering Tool was used to make sure that the planned line was followed with the highest accuracy. On several locations, our GPS track was deployed for extra verification.

Smooth intersect with Radar

Near the crossroads in the center of the town, the intersect was made at a depth of 66 ft / 20 m. Brownline’s Radar was used to make the intersect as smooth as possible. Using our Radar tool, the distance between both drill heads can be measured very precisely. As a result, the optimal line can be drilled while maintaining radius to seamlessly connect the two boreholes. A smooth intersect ensures that lower pulling forces are required to install the bundle of cable ducts during pullback.

By using a combination of our measuring systems (Drillguide GST, GPS track and Radar), this drilling was achieved as accurately and efficiently as possible. By successfully completing this complex project, we are making progress towards a sustainable future, where efficient power supply is crucial for the energy transition.

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