Direct Pipe

Direct Pipe is a single pass process that uses a steerable tunnel boring machine-cutting head.

The technology tunnels and pushes the pipe into place at the same time, filling the void as it progresses. This technology greatly reduces the likelihood of hydraulic fracture and inadvertent returns and is ideal for crossing under levees and environmentally sensitive areas.

An illustrated animation of the Direct Pipe process.

Direct Pipe benefits

  • More effective for difficult subsurface formations than HDD installation.
  • Direct Pipe can handle gravel and cobbles up to approximately 1/3 the size of the Direct Pipe machine (i.e. 10-in. cobble for a 30-in. Outside Diameter Direct Pipe Machine).
  • ‚ÄčIdeal for crossing under levees and sensitive environmental areas.
  • Significantly lower annular pressure acting on the surrounding subsurface formation.
  • ‚ÄčIdeal for shore approach and/or outfall pipelines.
  • ‚ÄčThere is no need for marine support until the Direct Pipe machine breaches the seafloor.
  • Significantly less volume of bentonite released to water.
  • Reduced potential for inadvertent returns.
  • Drilling fluids transported to head and back via umbilicals.
  • Improved site safety.
  • One step process of pushing tunneling equipment and pipe, with no rotating equipment above ground.
  • Reduced workspace requirements at crossing.
  • The equipment and pipe stringing are on the entrance side of the crossing.
  • A small pit, slightly larger than the normal pipe ditch is all that is required on exit.
  • Less pipe required for crossing.
  • Shorter and shallower crossing plan and profile configuration.

Experience in Direct Pipe

The first execution of Direct Pipe was the Rhine River crossing near Worms, Germany in September 2007. Since then, there have been approximately 103 crossings completed worldwide as of September 2018. Laney Directional Drilling is a global leader in the technology having completed 11 installations totaling over 23,000 feet of pipeline. This is longer than any other contractor in North America. In addition, Laney has completed the two (2) longest crossings in North America and recently set the world record at the time of completion in length completing a 4,900-ft shore approach in South Texas beneath the Gulf of Mexico. All Laney Experience Includes:

STATE CROSSING DISTANCE PIPE DIAM. MTBM DIAM. DOC PRODUCT PIPE
PA Creek Crossing 1,423 42″ 48″ 07/08/13 48″ STEEL
TX Waterway Crossing 3,506 48″ 48″ 05/12/15 30″ HDPE
TX Creek Crossing 1,850 42″ 42″ 08/12/15 16″ STEEL
LA Future Plant Site 1,777 36″ 42″ 02/26/16 36″ STEEL
LA Future Plant Site 1,610 36″ 42″ 02/06/16 36″ STEEL
LA Future Plant Site 930 36″ 42″ 01/22/16 36″ STEEL
TX Levee Crossing 2,100 42″ 42″ 04/09/16 42″ STEEL
TX Levee Crossing 2,100 42″ 42″ 05/05/16 8″ & 12″ STEEL
TX Salt Lake Canal 1,866 42″ 42″ 07/08/16 30″ STEEL
LA Highway Crossing 855 42″ 42″ 08/16/17 42″ STEEL
TX Gulf of Mexico
(Shore Approach)
5,000 42″ 42″ 12/16/17 42″ STEEL