Prime Horizontal
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HDD Guidance Services

HDD Guidance Services with ParaTrack

The ParaTrack System was adapted for use in the HDD market by Vector Magnetics, the original developer of ParaTrack for close approach drilling in oil and gas fields, and Prime Horizontal. Following its original development for HDD applications, Prime Horizontal and Vector Magnetics have continued to develop and add more capabilities to the ParaTrack system, the second generation being known as the ParaTrack-2 system. Its predecessor, the ParaTrack-1 system, is used with DC magnetic sources and can be used with existing steering tools. As a result, Prime Horizontal is considered one of the foremost authorities on the use of this system for horizontal directional drilling applications. Prime Horizontal is also a primary supplier of ParaTrack systems and training in the use of ParaTrack.

HDD Services with ParaTrack-1

Prime Horizontal differentiates the projects it performs between the horizontal guidance services performed with the ParaTrack-1 system and the guidance services requiring the technology of ParaTrack-2. Some horizontal projects are straightforward and are easily accomplished using conventional guidance, steering to a known magnetic field generated by a surface coil or by a centerline guide wire installed along the surface or water bottom or installed inside a parallel pipe. Prime offers these services on a routine basis in all areas. ParaTrack-1 has the additional advantage of using guidance equipment already owned by the customer.

ParaTrack-2 System

ParaTrack-2 is an underground magnetic tracking system with unique capabilities. Rather than using a conventional surface guidewire or coil, the surface deployment of ParaTrack-2 will often use a guidewire along centerline with a return cable placed offline so its magnetic signal is negligible. In specific circumstances, the centerline cable may be grounded on each side of the crossing, negating the need for a return path with its significant deployment time. Today, ParaTrack-2 is the only tracking system able to utilize many different AC magnetic sources. Not only are guidewires on the surface and underground used, but the Rotating Magnet Sub, the Axial Magnet Sub and the AC Beacon all requiring no guidewires are commonly used. One or several of these choices will fit the exacting requirements of most horizontal drilling projects.

For an explanation of the system specifications of ParaTrack-2, please follow this link.

HDD Magnetic Sources used with ParaTrack-2

Complex horizontal projects are often beyond the scope of conventional technology, either because the technology is not cost-effective or because the field problem itself is too complex due to drilling problems, extremes of local geology or very long traverses. Such projects require the AC downhole magnetic sources of ParaTrack-2, the AC Beacon, the Rotating Magnet Sub or the axial magnet, with the ParaTrack Steering Tool. It is also common to use a combination of magnetic sources especially for long reach intersect projects: a centerline guide wire to begin a project and the high resolution of the downhole magnetic sources of ParaTrack-2 to finish.
Currently the following, AC magnetic sources are routinely used with ParaTrack-2 so technical solutions can be tailored to each job:

  1. Single guidewire or a single guidewire and return from entry to exit
  2. AC Beacon
  3. Rotating Magnet Sub
  4. Axial Magnet Sub

While not a magnetic source, the Pressure While Drilling (PWD) Sub, measures annulus and internal pipe pressure while drilling so potential drilling problems can be diagnosed before they become serious.

Underground Intersect Drilling

Prime Horizontal’s use of the non-wire based magnetic sources of the ParaTrack-2 system gives better approach accuracy for intersecting another bore by creating a known magnetic field down hole to act as a target for drilling the final intersect.

Prime Horizontal pioneered the drilling of underground intersects, all completed to date with a 100% success rate. Prime has completed intersect projects for drilling through heavy gravels on both sides of a crossing, for lowering annular pressures in alluvial formations and for successfully completing very long reach HDD projects.

HDD applications with ParaTrack

Horizontal Crossings with ParaTrack

  • Use either ParaTrack-1 or ParaTrack-2 steering tool.
  • Use surface or underground guidewire installation.
  • Deploy as loop or single cable.
  • Handle extreme local magnetic interference with ease.

Parallel Drilling

  • Use ParaTrack-2.
  • Use surface or underground guidewire installation with centers from 0.5 m to more than 80 m.
  • Use proprietary Rotating Magnet Source in first borehole.
  • Handles extreme local magnetic variations with ease.

Tunnel Excavation

  • Use ParaTrack-2.
  • Use underground guidewire installation with centers from 0.3 m to more than 10m.
  • Use proprietary Micro-Coil Magnetic Source for extreme precision.

Vertical Underground Intersects

  • Use ParaTrack-2.
  • Use Rotating Magnet Source.
  • Use for Coal Bed Methane projects.
  • Use for drilling air and vent shafts in mines.

Horizontal Underground Intersects

  • Use ParaTrack-2.
  • Use surface or underground guidewire installation.
  • Use proprietary Rotating Magnet Source in vicinity of intersection.
  • Use proprietary AC Beacon magnetic source for long reach intersect drilling.
  • Use for drilling from casing to casing.
  • Use for long reach crossings.

Shore Approaches

  • Use ParaTrack-2.
  • Use proprietary AC Beacon magnetic source.
  • Use from beach or river bank to more than 100 meter range.
  • Use for drilling from casing to casing.
  • Use for long distance crossings.

From Project Design to Project Completion

From the drawing board, through project design, project implementation and post-project reporting, Prime’s field engineers work with their customers to assure operator confidence and to transfer to the operator the detailed knowledge of methods and results.

Each project is different, requiring sometimes novel solutions to unique guidance problems. Our approach has always been to propose, develop, test and implement these new solutions before going to the field. Our track record speaks for our successful approach.

When you would like more information about Prime or ParaTrack-2, or if you are an operator with an upcoming horizontal drilling project, please contact us.