Case Study of an Offshore Horizontal Boring

by John T. Robinson, Mobil Exploration & Producing US, Inc, New Orleans, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Engineering Practice


A pipeline system was needed to transport natural gas from a discovery in Mobile Block 823 to Mobil's existing system inside Mobile Bay. Sand Island, a small barrier island off Dauphin Island, Alabama, was an unavoidable obstacle along the pipeline route. Because barrier islands are environmentally sensitive and sand transport makes them relatively unstable, Mobil made the policy decision not to dredge through Sand Island. Instead, directional boring was used to install a bundle of four pipelines under the island with minimal disturbance to the environment (Hair, 1989). This paper describes the design of the pipeline bundle, the horizontal boring procedure, the installation of the rig on the barge and the remedial action taken to protect the barge from wave action.

Subject Headings: Case studies | Boring | Offshore structures | Offshore pipelines | Islands | Underwater pipelines | Pipeline management | Sandy soils | Alabama | United States

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