From the magazine

Drilling and ramming through WA

From September 2014 to February 2015, Pipeline Drillers supplied horizontal directional drilling services to the Fortescue River Gas Pipeline (FRGP) project. With the deployment of a Gallagher HDD 660 and a Vermeer D100x120, the Western Australia project would see new innovations from the drilling specialist.

The Gallagher HDD 660 drilled and installed five 40.6 cm (16 inch) steel gas pipes in lengths of 1,200 m, 1,100 m, 900 m, 330 m and 170 m with a fibretech abrasive-resistant coating. These bores traversed environmentally sensitive areas free from incidents. The Vermeer rig, meanwhile, completed a total of twelve bores across vast geographical locations. Ranging in lengths from 30-200 m, these bores crossed under roads and railways, with crews at some sites separated by up to 450 km.

With continually varying ground conditions, from water-charged sands and marine clays to challenging rock and cobble formations, Pipeline Drillers contributed industry experience in the design of the successful HDD profiles. When HDD became infeasible in extremely difficult ground conditions, Pipeline Drillers elected to use a Grundoram Goliath Pneumatic Ramming Tool. The “√∑literal’ ground breaking method pushed pipe lengths of 60 m through cobble and collapsing dry clays.

Commenting on the project, Pipeline Drillers Managing Director John Whitbread said HDD methodologies needed to be flexible and complementary to client requirements in unexpected ground conditions, all while ensuring safe and environmentally sound practices. The Grundoram Goliath Pneumatic Ramming Tool now complements the already comprehensive list of alternative trenchless technologies at Pipeline Drillers.

Based in Brisbane but capable of mobilising equipment nationwide, Pipeline Drillers caters for the logistics of transporting HDD equipment across state and territory borders. Currently taking on new challenges with ocean outfalls in Port Hedland, Darwin and the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, the company is committed to the efficient and effective completion of trenchless works.

For more information, find Pipeline Drillers online at or contact Paul Tredenick on and the sales team at

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