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2.5-mile horizontal directional drill sets record

Michels continues to extend the possibilities of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) by completing a record length drill in North Dakota.

The 13,247-foot (4,037-metre) drill allowed installation of a 20-inch pipe under the Missouri River. The 2.5-mile project used the pilot-hole intersection method, which requires two rigs to drill simultaneously toward one another from both sides of the project and eventually meet near the middle. Gyroscopic guidance tools were used to stay precisely on the predetermined path. To minimize disturbances to the area, the bore path extended 268 feet below the bottom of the Lake Sakakawea Reservoir in the Missouri River.

Michels crews also assembled and handled the massive pipe string, which took 38 hours to pull into place in three sections.

The installation is part of a 10-mile pipeline between a compressor station and a natural gas gathering system in the Bakken shale oil fields in Williams County, N.D. The project is significant for more than its length. It also provides our customer with a delivery outlet for what has been a largely untapped energy resource in the Bakken area.

Congratulations to our crew for skillfully completing something that has never been done before. Thank you to our customer for placing your confidence in our ability to meet the challenge.

Learn more about our HDD capabilities and this project.

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