Perforación Horizontal Dirigida

What is HDD?

Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) is an environmentally friendly technology used for the underground installation of pipeline networks by non-destructive means below interferences such as watercourses, river valleys, swamps, erosive furrows, paved roads or highways, rail tracks, hills and buildings. It is fundamentally used for the installation of general product, oil and gas pipelines, multi duct casings and electrical and fiber optic communication lines.

    Advantages of this Method

  • Reduces execution time by increasing productivity and efficiency
  • Independent of climatic conditions
  • Mitigates surface environmental impact
  • Reduces visual impact
  • Protects wildlife and breeding stock
  • Assists passage of fish and protects aquatic plants
  • Decreases water clouding
  • Reduces remediation costs
  • Bypasses underground networks and obstacles
  • Ensures continuity of land and river traffic
  • Protects plant life cover
  • Attenuates adverse effects of construction process
  • Minimizes slope and coastline disturbance
  • Optimizes hygiene and safety at work
  • Reduces operational costs
  • Guarantees long term integrity of installed network
  • Cost effective alternative
  • Installs underground urban networks without the need of open cut trenches

Flowtex Video Chanel

Feasibility Evaluation

The following basic information is needed in order to evaluate a project:

  1. Information about product pipe to be installed
  2. Evaluation visit and a survey of the jobsite
  3. Analysis of site geographical conditions (availability of water, climatic and hydrographical data)
  4. Drawings of existing obstacles
  5. Authorizations and permits related to the drilling job
  6. Visits to the jobsite
  7. Geotechnical/geophysical investigations

Geotechnical and Hydrological Investigations

The subsurface stratification survey includes:

  1. Classification and evaluation of existing documentation
  2. Historical investigation
  3. Analysis of physiographic characteristics
  4. Soundings
  5. Standard Penetration Tests
  6. Geophysical investigations
  7. Lab tests
  8. Geotechnical report
  9. Top view drawings and longitudinal profile including geotechnical stratification profile

The hydrological study includes, among others:

  1. Bathymetry of the river bed
  2. Possible channel deviations caused by meandering
  3. Study of the projected evolution of the river channel within the next 50 years.
Muestra de suelo

Project Definition

The following are defined based on the documentation resulting from the feasibility evaluation and the geotechnical investigations:

  1. Corresponding drill path design
  2. Drilling rig site plan
  3. Tracking and survey methods to be used
  4. Reaming, hole opening and swabbing tool selection
  5. Drilling fluid composition
  6. Product pipe to be inserted
  7. Tool selection
Selección de herramientas

What pipe to be used?

The following criteria should be considered in order to select the appropriate pipes to be installed by means of directional drilling:

  1. Formal requirements of the sector of application.
  2. Physical and geological characteristics of the underground crossing that could modify safety factors regarding wall thickness and mechanical protection with the objective of protecting the structural integrity of the pipe during its pullback.
  3. Factor of <50 for relation between pipe Ø and wall thickness

What are Drilling Fluids?

The directional horizontal drilling process requires the use of water-based, non-polluting drilling fluids with a mixture of bentonite and organic polymers, which fulfill the following functions:

  1. Cutting of the formation by means of high velocity fluid streams directed from jet nozzles
  2. Hydraulic power for the mud motor
  3. Suspension and transportation of cuttings from the drilling face to the surface
  4. Control of formation pressures
  5. Sealing of absorbent and fractured formations avoiding the loss of drilling fluid towards neighboring formations
  6. Maintaining the stability of the tunnel wall whilst drilling and reaming
  7. Cooling and lubricating drilling tools and pipes
  8. Transmitting hydraulic power to the bit
  9. Reducing vibrations
  10. Flotation of pipeline weight
  11. Reducing environmental impact
Operador de fluidos M315


    Flowtex HDD provides the engineering required for Directional Drilling, covering:

  • Analysis of physiographic, geotechnical and hydrological characteristics
  • Selection of equipment and tools
  • Selection of tracking and surveying methods
  • Pipe and selected lining verification
  • Drill path design and calculation of resulting tensions and stresses
  • General Method Statement
  • Calculations statement
  • Operating procedures manual
  • Integrated management manual of quality, safety and environmental protection
  • Asbuilt drawings resulting from the completion of each crossing with pipeline and weld traceability
  • Plan view and profile drawings including:
    • Drill path
    • Survey measurements
    • Photos
    • Ground elevations and coordinates
    • Obstacles
    • Site design, with location of the corresponding mud and cuttings settlement pits

Design spreadsheet


Geotechnical investigation

Drilling rig site plan


The main stages involved in the construction of a directional crossing are the following:

  1. Construct or improve access roads and set up jobsites on both sides
  2. Construct the product pipe on entry side, mounted on rollers, ready for insertion
  3. Construct fluid return and cuttings settlement pits
  4. Rig and equipment transportation and assembly
  5. Pilot hole construction
  6. Reaming or hole opening
  7. Hole swabbing
  8. Pipe pull
  9. Verifications
  10. Rig-down and exit on completion
  11. Mud disposal and site restoration

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Our Clients

They are our best security and principal guarantee. We thank them for the trust they have given us which has allowed us to be a company which can claim a leading position in the execution of HDD technology.