Do you have an upcoming project that will require directional drilling?  At JMH Directional Drilling, we have unrivalled experience in providing horizontal directional drilling and trenchless solutions when installing and repairing pipes and cables. Our professional and knowledgeable team have come across every type of directional drilling situation that you can possibly imagine, having completed projects of every size in our 20 year history.

What is Horizontal Directional Drilling?

Let’s first start by taking you through what horizontal direction drilling is. To put this in simple terms, it is a technique used  where we will drill a tunnel underneath a waterway or another specified area and then a pipeline is pulled through this drilled tunnel. The pipe will go through the entry point and will follow this underground tunnel which can even be shaped like an arc and will be pulled out through the opposite side. JMH Directional Drilling’s advanced technology comes into play here and our expert technicians will use a drill head to guide the drilling pipe through. This is all done electronically and so they can be very precise with the depth, angle and the exit point and ensure that it follows the exact engineering plans.

During this drilling process, the tunnel will be circulated with water and mud mixture to ensure it is kept open and lubricated. This mixture is normally made up for 95% water and 5% bentonite clay which is a non-toxic, natural substance. Drill cuttings will also be removed during this process and the walls will be coated.

Our technicians will be aiming to have the tunnel around 12 inches wider than the pipe for the welded pipeline to be pulled through. The pipeline will usually be made from a thick steel and there will be a protective first layer of coating which will help prevent corrosion and then a second abrasion-resistant coating will protect the pipe as it is being pulled through one end of the tunnel to another. Once this has been completed, the two ends of the pipeline segment will be welded together with the pipeline system on either end of the tunnel.

Why Choose Horizontal Directional Drilling for Your Next Project?

There are many advantages to using horizontal directional drilling and it is the preferred method when a pipe has to be used near a large river or another type of sensitive crossing. However, when undertaking long distance underground pipeline work that is being built across an open area such as farmland, then a trench is dug on an approved route and the pipeline is lowered into the trench. The soil is then replaced on top to begin the restoration process.

It is the preferred construction method in large river crossings, badly congested areas and some other unique situations and the main reason for this is because it will minimise the impact on the area that is above the drill. The land at the entry and exit points of the drill will be disturbed, however, this will then be restored once the pipeline has been fitted.

What to Expect from Directional Drilling

When directional drilling is taking place in a construction, you will need to be aware that this can be a noisy process and so most of this type of work will only take place during daylight hours if you are near a residential area. We can try to reduce the level of noise by using specialised structures on the drill site that can buffer sound.

How Long Does Directional Drilling Take?

There is no one size fits all when it comes to directional drilling and every project will require a different length of time depending on different aspects of the project. An approximation can usually be given based on the geology of the area, the distance of the underground drill, the diameter of the pipeline and the progress of drilling operations. This can be anywhere from a few weeks up to a few months to complete a project. While you may have an estimated completion date after some advanced planning, it is important to remember that directional drilling can be affected by unforeseen conditions that can set a project time scale back.

If you are in need of directional drilling for your latest project, contact JMH Directional Drilling today where a member of our team will be happy to discuss your project plans, the service we offer and how we can help you.