August 21, 2014

Michels uses Direct Pipe® method for installation at US-Mexico border

A Direct Pipe machine operates at night

Michels added to its string of successes using the Direct Pipe® method by installing a 48-inch gas pipe under the Rio Grande River and border between the United States and Mexico. The 2,460-foot installation spanned Starr County, TX, to Tamaulipas State, Mexico, in one continuous pipe string. “The vast majority of the work was done from the Texas side, making Direct Pipe® an ideal method for an international border projects,” said Matt Smith, Direct Pipe® Manager. The Direct Pipe® method was selected at the site because the process is done with pipe string and installation operations on the same side. Additionally, geotechnical ground conditions comprised of sand, silt, clay, and claystone were not ideal for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) on an international border crossing. The Direct Pipe® method minimized potential for inadvertent release of drilling fluid into the Rio Grande River, which would have been difficult to manage with HDD due to access issues. The project was completed in less than two weeks.

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