Herrenknecht Trailer-Rig on Rio Colorado crossing in Argentina

The Joint Venture Techint-SACDE recently completed a project along the Nestor Kirchner Pipeline in Argentina. The first 537 km long chapter, with a total pipeline length of 1,680 km, will deliver gas out of Vaca Muerta from Tratayén (Neuquén) to Salliqueló (Buenos Aires) and will be a key pipeline for Argentina and its energy supply.

Over the complete length, there was one HDD project planned for a river crossing under the Rio Colorado executed by Techint-SACDE with a Herrenknecht HK250T HDD Rig. The crossing was 1200 m long with changing soil conditions from sand and gravel to sandstone with clay lenses. Drilling works started with a 12 ¼” pilot hole, followed by several reaming steps from 26” and 36” up to the last step of 48”. This created an optimum setup to install and pullin the 36” steel pipeline together with an additional 4” pipe. Despite challenges like the changing geology, high groundwater combined with a low PH level due to the river nearby, a gravel section at entry site and temperatures below 0°C at night, the team managed to complete the project within 60 days with a 24/7 operation.

This was possible thanks to high priority on mud management, high availability of the drilling equipment and the professionalism and experience of Techint-SACDE and BM Drilling crews.

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