Case Study PDF

"The excellent service in the area of HDD work completed by SDL has been a major factor in our recent project delivery of the Gasport Terminal in Teesside for Excelerate Energy. I can confidently recommend SDL... experts in their field."

Vince Braniff
Contracts Manager
Murphy Pipelines Ltd.

Teeside Gasport

Teesside Gasport

1km river crossing

1km River Crossing

- Challenging geology, multi-line pull

The Project

A critical part of the fast-track Excelerate Energy Gasport project was the crossing of the River Tees. SDL successfully completed the 1km Horizontal Directional Drill under the river in November 2006 enabling the first deliveries of LNG in February 2007.


The 1km crossing involved not only the 600mm high pressure gas line, but also 2 fibre optic control cables that were pulled in with the pipe-string, protected by a 2" steel pipe. The final operation of the installation depended not only on the successful completion of the gas line but also of the fibre optic control cables.

Challenging Conditions

The multi-ream drill was difficult, drilling through very hard ground, with the additional challenge of the ex-steel works slag that protects the banks of the river at the exit point. Contingency plans were developed to open-cut an exit route in the event of major problems being encountered. SDL had previous experience of drilling in the area and used and adjacent line to carry a guide signal wire.


SDL worked closely with primecontractor Murphy Pipelines Ltd. Due to the critical nature of the crossing SDL participated in regular planning reviews. The drilling site was available for a limited period of time which together with typical Teeside winter conditions added to the demands of the project. SDL established a safety-first culture on-site; from site-induction and tool-box talks for all personnel to regular audit, review and reporting, SDL bring a wealth of experience to projects such as this, involving challenging crossings and specialist techniques, and this ensures completion on-time, to cost and safely.

Project Summary

  • 1km river crossing.
  • 610mm high pressure gas pipeline.
  • Fibre optic control cables in 2" line.
  • Horizontal directional drill.
  • Very hard geology.
  • Difficult exit ground conditions.
  • Crossing was a critical path item for fast-track project.
  • Limited access and winter conditions.

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