Drilling for the expansion of a natural gas pipeline system in the USA

The Gulf Coast Southbound natural gas pipeline system in the USA is undergoing phase two of its expansion project to increase the transportation capacity. For this second phase, Brownline was commissioned by Spartan Directional to steer a 5137-ft drill crossing under the Sabine Pass in the summer of 2021.

With multiple existing pipelines and an extremely tight tolerances window, the highest level of precision was vital to the success of this drill. The drill trajectory was set out to pass through steady sandy clay soil levels. Due to the loose soil conditions, and to ensure the preservation of the Sabine Pass wetlands surrounding both entry and exit, the annular pressure was of high importance.

Brownline’s surveyors monitored the annular pressure during the entirety of this project, helping eliminate the risk of unintentional return to the surface of these wetlands. With the use of the Drillguide Gyro Steering Tool and GPS track for additional verifications, the drill was executed without any problems, punching out directly at the exit stake.

Upon the completion of this expansion project the total natural gas transportation capacity of the Gulf Coast Southbound system will increase to 760,000Dth/d. Spreading from the southern portion of Texas up to Illinois, this expansion will connect increasing domestic natural gas supplies needed by the growing industrial demand and export opportunities in the Gulf Coast area.

With multiple more drills to come, Brownline looks forward in taking part in the successful completion of this expansion project.

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