Complicated intersect drilling in Texan marsh

In March 2022, Brownline USA surveyed a long and challenging drilling in Port Arthur, TX. This 8753 ft / 2668 m bore led through a marsh and included three horizontal curves. Brownline’s tools were utilized to safely and efficiently complete this intersect drilling.

The aim of this bore was to replace a 16” petroleum pipeline for the TotalEnergies refinery in Port Arthur. The bore path led through a marshy area and made horizontal curves of 7°, 18° and 24°. The first of these coincided with the first vertical curve, creating a compound curve. Two contractors drilled from either side in order to complete this project: Directional Service South & Harding Directional Drilling.

Brownline’s Drillguide Gyro Steering Tool was used to keep both drills following this intricate bore path design. Halfway along the bore, Brownline’s Radar add-on was used to measure the relative position of the drill heads. This technology allowed for the boreholes to be joined in a smooth and controlled fashion.

The soil consisted of sands and clays which is why jetting assemblies were used to drill. To avoid any inadvertent returns spilling into the marsh, the annular pressure was monitored throughout the drilling using the GST’s Pressure-While-Drilling (PWD) module.

Brownline’s tools were key to the accuracy of the completed pilot bore. In any variety of soil conditions and even with many steel pipelines in the vicinity, the GST will provide accurate positional measurements.

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