HORIZONTAL DIRECTIONAL DRILLING (HDD)
Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) has emerged as a preferred method in many situations for the installation of oil and gas pipelines as well as other utility pipes under watercourses, roads, railway lines, steep slopes and other obstacles.
The technology was introduced by NSCC for the first time in the Middle East in 1996, and has been enthusiastically embraced by contractors and regulators as a potentially low impact & environmentally friendly construction technique.
In many cases, however, the suitability of the HDD method must be evaluated and compared to more traditional open-trench construction techniques in order to ensure that an appropriate technique is chosen for the terrain and environs. Recognition of the advantages, limitations and potential risks of HDD is an important step in this evaluation.
The successful design and construction of HDD is the result of a team effort combining the skills of the regulatory group, owner, engineering consultant, environmental consultant, inspection services and the specialist HDD contractor. Success in this endeavour is measured in more than the successful pull back of the pre-built pipeline drag section; in the completion of the project for a reasonable cost with minimal environmental impact. These should be the goals in any type of project, including an HDD installation.