Crossing the border: a Brownline Canada & Brownline USA joint effort

Brownline Canada & USA have collaborated in the renewal of the Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline that runs from Ontario to Michigan, with an intersect crossing underneath the St. Clair River.

Enbridges’ Line 5 pipeline is an integral component of the Great Lakes region energy infrastructure. It transports up to 540,000 barrels per day (bpd) of light crude oil, light synthetic crude, and natural gas liquids (NGLs), which are refined into propane. This resource is used to heat homes and businesses, fuel vehicles as well as make a broad range of lubricant products.
This segment of the Enbridge Pipeline System was constructed in 1953 and crosses the St. Clair River. This is a large tributary that connects Lake St. Clair to Lake Huron. In 2018 it was decided that the old pipeline would be removed and replaced.

The total length of the intersect crossing’s trajectory was 2800 ft. (853 meters) and will contain a 30” (76 cm) NPS casing. The new replacement installation was to be installed within the same corridor as the existing Line 5, which runs 10 meter below the St. Clair River bottom. Surface tracking was not going to be possible, as the St. Clair River spans over 550 meters from shore to shore.

Brownline used Drillguide GST in combination with the Radar for this successful intersect, which took 3 days to complete from start of drilling on both sides of the river. The Drillguide GST allowed for seamless accuracy, while experiencing no external interferences from the existing Line 5 pipeline, other surrounding utilities and marine traffic.

Working together and literally building a new connection between Canada and the USA was a great experience for both of our offices and will gladly be repeated in the future!

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