A large scale HDD project spans under a river.

North Bakken Expansion HDD

Michels Trenchless, Inc. used horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to install 15,426 feet of 24-inch diameter pipe under Lake Sakakawea on the Missouri River.
Joint by joint, Michels Pipeline, Inc. put the 24-inch pipe into position, then welded it into two pull sections, one 426 feet and one 15,000 feet. The assembled pipe string weighed about 3.7 million pounds. Michels Trenchless, Inc. placed a custom-made drilling rig with capacity of more than 1 million pounds of push/pull force on both sides of the crossing to complete all operations, from pilot hole drilling to final pullback.
The Bakken Formation in North Dakota and Montana is identified by the U.S. Geological Survey as the largest continuous oil reserve in the lower 48 states, accounting for 11% of oil and 3% of natural gas production. However, the existing infrastructure did not meet transportation needs for natural gas being produced during the crude oil extraction process. The HDD crossing was a critical piece in adding to the natural gas takeaway capacity from the Bakken formation, helping reduce natural gas flaring in the area.

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