Bacton Gas Plant

Bacton Gas Plant

900mm steel pipeline

Specialist Support to Main Contractor

- First HDD within a 'live' gas plant.

The Project

The project consisted of a 600m horizontal directional drill (HDD) to install a 914.4mm steel pipeline; the first section of line for the Shell UK Bacton natural gas plant in Norfolk. Working for main contractor AMEC, SDL provided specialist drilling services and managed the drilling site and HDD works. In addition to the HDD it was necessary to construct a cofferdam at the site heli-pad to enable safe access.


Horizontal Directional Drilling enabled Stockton to create a secure route without disturbing the plant and equipment within the Shell compound. A pre-welded and tested pipeline string was then pulled through the prepared hole completing the installation with no risk of subsidence or post construction settlement.


As this was an operational gas site all personnel required OFGES approval and were trained in the relevant Shell H&S policies for the Bacton site.

SDL often works within a thirdparty site, and as part of the project planning process will complete a thorough safety and environmental assessment. In particular SDL will develop a site-specific health and safety plan which will fully integrate the host organisation's procedures and ensure that site induction and working methods fully meet the host and client requirements.

Project Management

Stockton worked closely with AMEC and Shell, with involvement in the up-front project design and how to make best use of the specialist HDD techniques. One key element of the project was to minimise the impact on the local environment. By adopting strict traffic management and environmental controls the local environment and community remained undisturbed throughout the entire drilling process.

Project Summary

  • 600m 914.4mm horizontal directional drill
  • Specialist support to main contractor Amec
  • First HDD within a live Shell operating plant
  • Careful traffic management
  • Minimal impact on local community
  • Small foot-print drilling site

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Designed at B&W studio