Laney’s Direct Pipe® Method Sets World Length Record with Valley Crossing Project



Laney Directional Drilling recently completed its 11th successful Direct Pipe® project — the Valley Crossing Project — and set a new world record for the longest successful Direct Pipe® installation to date globally. The project included a shore approach execution into the Gulf of Mexico from Cameron County, Texas. The total measured distance of the 42-inch diameter Direct Pipe® installation was nearly 5,000 feet, and an additional 1,350 feet of pipe pushed out to the offshore contractor.

Laney utilized its custom-built Herrenknecht HK750PT thruster and clamp with a Herrenknecht AVN 1000 TBM for the project. This was also the first utilization of Laney’s new one-of-a-kind Derrick Direct Pipe Cleaning System Setup. These systems were ideal because they minimized environmental risk in the soft soil conditions beneath the South Texas shoreline. The project was completed alongside Herrenknecht Tunneling Systems and Strike, LLC.

The beauty of the Direct Pipe® method is that it combines the advantages of microtunneling and Horizontal Directional Drilling to create 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.

The process greatly lowers the pressure acting on the surrounding subsurface formation and also greatly reduces the risk of inadvertent returns. This makes the method ideal for crossing under levees and environmentally sensitive areas where failure is not an option.

The Direct Pipe® method dictates that the entire jobsite infrastructure — including the prefabricated pipeline — be located on one side of the levee, canal, or other environmentally-sensitive area. This setup uses less labor and equipment; causes less environmental disruption; and can be implemented in densely populated residential areas. These benefits have led to a number of upcoming Direct Pipe® projects for Laney, due to the growing worldwide demand for trenchless pipeline installations for the oil and gas industry, for freshwater and sewage transportation, and for supply and communications lines.

Laney is the only North American trenchless company providing integrated Engineering, Procurement and Construction trenchless services for Horizontal Directional Drilling and the Direct Pipe® method. To date, Laney has executed nearly 2,800 successful crossings in 29 years of business and has completed some of the longest and most challenging HDD crossings across the globe.