In this video, Condemnation Rights Attorney Philip Hundl explains what horizontal directional drilling is and how it is used in pipeline construction. Call 800-266-4870 for an appointment with Mr. Hundl.
Summary of the Horizontal Directional Drilling Video
– Hi. My name is Philip Hundl. I’m an attorney with Wadler, Perches, Hundl & Kerlick. My practice area focuses on land litigation, and representing landowners in condemnation cases.
Condemnation cases can be anything from a highway expansion or a new highway construction, to a pipeline project, power line or canal. We’ve seen canals with the different river authorities or water authorities. The pipelines could be gas pipelines, water pipelines, crude oil pipelines.
I get asked about building pipelines under roads, rivers or canals by landowner clients. Landowners are interested in learning about the construction aspects or engineering aspects of a pipeline project affecting their land.
Horizontal Directional Drilling Is Used to Place a Pipeline Under and Obstacle
Horizontal directional drilling or HDD is used when a pipeline is going to cross a highway or river. Different companies have different policies and protocol. But most of the time, a company will bore underneath the river, the creek, or the road.
I’ve found a helpful animation by Kinder Morgan (below) about horizontal directional drilling under a river.
The animation describes the various steps in the process. It’s very helpful to illustrate the process.
Horizontal Directional Drilling Requires Extra Work Areas
There are some key points of the animation to note in how horizontal directional drilling affects the landowner. There’s going to be an entry site and an exit site . Those are going to affect the landowner’s property because those areas will be wider than the pipeline easement.
That’s because the pipeline construction company will need a additional temporary workspace at those sites. That larger area needs to be understood and marked clearly so that the landowner knows how much of his or her property will be affected by these work areas.
The entry site is where the drilling entry pad set-up will be. There is going to be separation plants, holding tanks, fluid pumps. There’s going to be a control cabin often times, depending on scope of the horizontal directional drilling work. In the easement agreement, we want to address erosion control protection at the entry and exit site.
In the Kinder Morgan video, you’ll see the steps involved with this horizontal directional drilling. First there’s the pilot hole. It’s the same as when you’re drilling a hole in a piece of wood or some other material. I did this the other day, in a brick wall.
You’re going to have a smaller pilot hole. Your desired hole is going to be a lot bigger than the pilot hole but it’s easier to start the process by first having a pilot hole that’s going to help guide the larger hole. So, in this animation, you’ll see the same thing.
When drilling a pilot hole, there are drilling fluids that are used — water, bentonite clay and so on. There are quite a few associated subcontractors on site providing the drilling fluids and removing the drilling fluids from site.
After drilling the pilot hole, then the reaming process occurs. Then the swabbing pass occurs.
After the HDD is Complete, Pipe Is Pushed Through the Hole
The next step is the stringing of the pipe and as the pipe is being strung, it’s going to be welded. The welds are going to be coated, as we talked about in an earlier video, After the pipe is coated then the welds will be coated and then the pipe is pushed through the hole. In the Kinder Morgan animation, this occurs under this river.
Then the pipe will be pressure tested with water and then drained Then the pipeline is going to be put into service.
The entry and exit sites will be remediated, leveled, disced and hopefully reseeded so that they can be restored to their pre-pipeline project condition. Once again, the animation hopefully will be helpful in visualizing the horizontal directional drilling process of building, a pipeline under a road or river.
Call 800-266-4870 for an Appointment
Our law firm has offices in Richmond and Fulshear in For Bend County and in Wharton and El Campo in Wharton County. Mr. Hundl can also travel to visit you on site.
You can ask for a no-obligation case evaluation by clicking this link, or you can send Mr. Hundl an email using our contact form. We strongly recommend against signing an easement agreement without first consulting an attorney who is experienced in handling condemnation cases.
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