IOC adopts Horizontal Directional Drilling for fuel transport

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Adding a feather on its cap, the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) adopted Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) technology for transporting fuel for the first time in the country. It laid underground pipelines across a distance of 3.1 km, between Seethanagaram and Gutala villages on the river Godavari under the Paradip-Hyderabad Petroleum Pipeline Project. For its completion, the IOCL entrusted the project on Dezhou Shengli Pipeline Crossing Engineering India Private Limited as the project cost escalated. The firm commenced the works in January, this year and completed on July 17. 

Speaking to TNIE, IOCL deputy general manager BVS Prasad said Paradip-Hyderabad Petroleum Pipeline Project will traverse 723 km through the State and would require to cross major rivers, canals, drains, roads and railway tracks. It will not only cater to the growing demand for petroleum products in the State but also bolster socio-economic development. Insistence has been given on not disturbing the aquatic life or river course.

One of the formidable challenges faced by the IOCL has been to be able to cross river Godavari in Rajamahendravaram. This was so because of the abstruse soil strata there, consisting of clay, sand, and gravel. However, it successfully developed 2.2 km length of 16” OD, API 5L X70 grade pipeline for ferrying petroleum and 3.5” OD A106 GRB conduit pipe for OFC, across the river Godavari in Rajamahendravaram from its west bank to the east, making use of HDD method. Explaining about the technology, Prasad said it is a trench-less technology, involving a drilling path underneath the river or any other obstacle.

The pipelines are hauled well below the scour depth of the river as per the code requirements after successful completion of the reaming of the desired size, making use of certain bentonite polymers. Bentonite helps in maintaining the reamed holes, while the desired scour depth provides the necessary protection to the pipelines in an event of a flood.

“We have chosen a wireless magnetic tracking system for detecting the pilot drill position. Earlier this month, the company was successful in pulling 900 metre section of the pipeline using HDD method. Tie-in of these two sections will be done shortly, making this pipeline the longest 16-inch HDD crossing in entire Asia, across 3.1 km,” Prasad said.

What is HDD?
A trench-less tech, involving a drilling path underneath the river. The pipes are hauled well below the scour depth of the river as per the code requirements after successful completion of the reaming of the desired size, making use of certain bentonite polymers. Bentonite helps in maintaining the reamed holes, whereas, scour depth provides necessary protection to pipelines in an event of a flood or washout

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