Directional Drilling

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Directional drilling makes a horizontal borehole. Drilling begins with the boring of a small diameter pilot hole directed to and along a desired design profile using flexible drill rods. Sub-site electronics are used to monitor and track the bore location through a sensor located in the bore head below the surface. Directional changes are made to the drilling alignment and direction with a borehead, which is offset slightly from the drill rods. Through small adjustments by the operator, steering corrections throughout the bore can be made (for example, around tree roots, boulders, buried utilities or private property).

A special drilling ‘mud’ technology, borrowed from the oil and gas industry, is introduced into the hole to prevent it from caving as well as providing a lubricant and flushing medium for cuttings.

Following advancement of the pilot hole, a back reamer is attached and pulled back though the pilot hole in order to achieve the required diameter for the product pipe to be installed. Pipe casing may then be pulled through the bore into position and required connections made.


Significantly reduced construction time: With the elimination of costly and time-consuming excavation and restoration associated with open trenching, installations can be performed in less time. Additionally, the mobility and quick times of the directional drill reduce costs as well.

Saves expensive or historic landscapes and structures: Directional drilling minimizes the need to remove expensive landscaping or endanger historic structures with excavation.

Eliminates unsightly excavation and trenching activity: Conventional trenching operations require many pieces of equipment, all of which contribute to noise and sight pollution on site, as well as litter the environment with spoil pipes and trenches. Only the drill, with a minimal amount of support equipment, is required on horizontal directional drilling projects – and trenches are eliminated.

Reduced impact on residents and business around construction site: There is no need to close roads or redirect traffic around the construction site, thus maintaining normal traffic patterns and access to businesses and residential property.

Reduction in long-term costs associates with settlements: Installations utilizing directional drilling reduce and in some cases eliminate settlements above the new pipe or conduit. This is particularly advantageous when installations are conducted beneath roads, highways, rail lines and foundations.

Minimum disruption to road, rail and other service users.

Minimum reinstatement costs.

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