Directional drilling is a trench-less process of installing underground pipe and cable systems along a predetermined path. Over the last 30 years, the technology has evolved from its origins as a preferred pipeline construction method for crossing major waterways to a technique that can be used in highly congested utility corridors along busy highway systems and over significant distances. Typically, a directional drilling company carries out the process in three primary stages.
The pilot hole is drilled in the first stage of the process.
The pilot-hole path is monitored during this phase of the process. Regular intervals of the inclination and angular displacement of the forefront of the drill are taken following measured data of the maximum drilled range. The operator can adjust the drill inclination to emerge from the ground at the predetermined exit point.
This step is to pre-ream the pilot hole in preparation for installing the pressure pipe. Although this intermediate step is not required, many experienced contractors do it to reduce the force required to pull the pipeline along the initial pilot hole without overburdening the drilling equipment.
The pressure pipe is pulled through the augmented pilot hole in the final stage. Attaching the prefabricated channel pull segment behind the reamer assembly at the exit route and pulling the assembly back to the drilling rig accomplishes this.