Positioning of pipe on the Wesauking pipeline has progressed to the west side of Joyce Road. Pipe being positioned on Maureen Brady's property near our barn.
Wilmot Pipeline Boring
Since the Wilmot Pipeline crosses both State Route 467 and Johnson Creek near Allis Hollow Equipment, this section of the pipeline will be bored out using a directional drilling rig and the pipeline pulled back through the borehole. The directional drilling is being done by two companies, Carson & Roberts and OZ Directional Drilling.
The directional drilling starts on the south side of Johnson Creek, at the base of Harmony Hill and will proceed north under the creek and SR-467 and continue underground and exits near the south edge of our property, at the top of the hill. This pipeline bore is 1/2 mile long and when the boring is complete a 24 inch gas pipeline will be pulled back through the borehole.
A Google Map satellite view showing the pipeline route in yellow and pipeline bore section in red.
Google Map link
Mary and I visited the drilling operation today and took the following photos.
The directional drilling rig is positioned in a farm field several hundred feet south of Johnson Creek and is anchored in position with long steel pilings driven into the ground. The drilling rig needs to exert a massive force to push the drill bit in the ground, under the creek and then up the hill to create a 10 inch pilot hole. Once the pilot hole is created, the hole will be enlarged to 36 inches and then a 1/2 mile long section of 24 inch pipeline will be pulled back through the borehole.
The directional drilling rig pushes the 30 foot sections of drill pipe into the ground. A drill bit at the end of the drill pipe is rotated by forcing "drilling mud" under high pressure through the hollow drill pipe.
As the drill bit rotates to cut through the rock the drilling mud exits the drill bit and flushes the pieces of rock (cuttings) back the bore hole where the used drilling mud is collected in a mud pit. The following photo shows the drill pipe entering the mud pit.
As the used drilling mud collects in the mud pit it is pumped out of the pit and the rock cuttings are removed from the drilling mud.
The used drilling mud is pumped through a system to remove the rock cuttings.
The rock waste is collected for disposal after it is removed from the drilling mud. With the rock cutting removed, the drilling mud is recycled back into the drilling operation.
New drilling mud is created as needed and added to the operation. The main ingredient in drilling mud is bentonite, a clay compound.
The directional drilling operation is controlled by adjusting the cutting angle of the drill bit from the control room next to the drill rig. Check the OZ Directional Drilling web site for more information on the drilling process.