First Direct Pipe directional drilling in Poland

GAZ-SYSTEM has just completed the first-in-Poland series of directional drillings in Direct Pipe technology. Works were performed at the construction site of Czeszów-Wierzchowice Gas Pipeline, in Dolnośląskie Province (southwestern Poland). So far, 40 crossings of this type have been made globally.

Direct Pipe is the most advanced among trenchless technologies, used for laying gas pipelines; the procedure enables drilling the pipeline crossings under watercourses, in difficult landscapes, in nature conservation areas or those with challenging geological conditions. Direct Pipe is a safe solution which reduces to the minimum the risk induced by trenchless installations.

The method is unique in that it combines HDD technology and microtunelling; the combination overcomes their respective limitations which, to a large extent, are no longer obstacles to gas pipeline construction. Direct Pipe allows for the trenchless laying out of large dimension and large length range pipelines. Moreover, this outcome is achieved at a reasonable price, higher by around 20% than the costs required for crossings performed with traditional HDD technology – says Roland Kośka, Planning & Monitoring Manager in GAZ-SYSTEM Investment Division.

Thanks to Direct Pipe technology GAZ-SYSTEM grasped the full control over the whole crossing execution process, without the risk of losing the bored whole before its piping, and got more predictability in terms of works duration and costs of crossing execution. Risk related to contamination of waters and watercourses with drilling fluid were removed, and most of all, works became more secure for the surroundings and the natural environment.

Technical details:
The method features a number of technical advantages, namely:

  • It eliminates the risk of overburden perforation under the drilling fluid pressure; trajectories (routes of the moving cutter head) for planned crossings can be shallower and drillings become shorter,
  • It shortens launch and reception segments; the trajectory is predominantly made of the horizontal section, and as such is easy to control and maintain according to the project,
  • There is no risk that the gas pipeline jobsite area extends at the drilling reception point,
  • The welded pipe for laying out does not need to be prepared ahead in one segment, Crossings can be located in places unfeasible for other technologies,
  • Boreholes can be made in rocks and geological formations regardless of their properties,
  • Drilled holes are tuned to the diameters of gas pipelines to be laid out, which reduces the scope of drilling and the volume of excavated material to be processed and disposed.

Direct Pipe technology is the outcome of the state-of-the-art technological solutions, for instance, the use of gyro compass for guiding the cutter head. As compared to microtunnelling, in this solution, the head is guided and placed at the endpoint of the carrier pipe which is pushed with Pipe Thruster into the rock mass following the way of the drilling head – adds Roland Kośka.

Link to the video with comments




GAZ-SYSTEM is a strategic company for the Polish economy. It is responsible for the transmission of natural gas, manages the most important gas pipelines in Poland and owns the President Lech Kaczyński LNG Terminal in Świnoujście.

As part of the 2015-2025 investment programme, GAZ-SYSTEM is constructing over 2000 km of new gas pipelines in the western, southern and eastern parts of Poland. Over a dozen new gas pipelines are under construction within the North-South Gas Corridor and the compressor station in Kędzierzyn Koźle, as well as interconnections with Lithuania and Slovakia. Onshore gas pipelines are planned to connect the planned FSRU floating terminal in the Gulf of Gdansk with the national transmission system. The LNG Terminal in Świnoujście is also being extended, as a result of which the regasification capacity of this facility will be increased by more than a half.

The company is also implementing one of the most important infrastructural projects in the country - the Baltic Pipe project which consists in the construction of a two-way offshore gas pipeline connecting Poland and Denmark, expansion of the local transmission network and three gas compressor stations.


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