8:30-9:55 a.m.
HDD Round Table
Ron Halderman, P.E., Director of HDD, Mears Group
Robert Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief, Underground Construction
Andy Blokker, Vice President Operations/COO, Avertex Utility Solutions Inc.
Michael Thomas, President, Alltech Directional Drilling Inc.
Aaron Graff, President/CEO, Dakota Utility Contractors
HDD contractors of varying sizes will convene in a round table format to discuss issues of concern, growth potential, owner relationships, equipment and services, and the overall state of the HDD industry, in a candid discussion. Time will also be allotted for questions and input from the audience. It is a tremendous opportunity to gain valuable insight into the HDD market place. Panelists are from Avertex Utility Solutions Inc., one of Canada’s most experienced HDD contractors specializing in telecommunications, hydro, water, environmental, culvert and sewer utility construction, and network installation services; Alltech Directional Drilling Inc., an HDD specialist working mostly along the west coast on telecom, telecom construction and maintenance, water and sewer, and gas work; and Dakota Utility Contractors, which accepts small and large projects to install utilities beneath roads, rivers, parking lots, and relocation due to other construction.

blokkerAndy Blokker is vice president of Operations/COO of AVERTEX Utility Solutions, a company he started in 2003 with a partner and which currently owns 16 Vermeer HDD rigs He began his career in the utility construction business as a backhoe operator in 1979 and worked his way up to foreman and supervisor before being promoted to vice president. In the early 1990s he was instrumental in developing the company’s HDD fleet. 

10:00-10:25 a.m.
Your Vac Is Full; What Do You Do With The Spoils?
Richard Levings, Director of Product Management, American Augers/Trencor
Damage prevention has been a major focus in the underground construction industry for many years and has led to many current practices for reducing hits of existing utilities. One of these practices is utilizing vacuum excavation for exposing pre-existing utilities before working in the area. The byproduct of this practice is soil solids mixed with water that needs to be disposed of or reused. Additionally, HDD systems are supported by mud vac units to keep the job site clean and free of drilling fluid. Disposal sites for these fluids have become very difficult to access and, if accessed, very expensive. These scenarios have driven the need for a cost-effective way to separate solids from the fluid for disposal or reuse of both the liquids and the solids. This session will discuss ways to meet these evolving needs.

10:30-10:55 a.m.
Record Direct Pipe Job Solves Challenges of Unique Project
Alan Snider, President; and Maureen Carlin, Strategic Marketing Manager; Laney Directional Drilling
The Sabine-Neches Waterway Direct Pipe Project is currently the largest and longest drilling operation of its kind ever undertaken in North America. It comprises installation of a 48” diameter steel casing, which houses a 30” diameter high-density polyethylene pipe to be used for drinking water. With a total length of about 3,500 ft., the pipe will convey water to Pleasure Island in Port Arthur, TX, traveling beneath the Sabine-Neches Waterway, a deep shipping channel, as well as the Port Arthur Levee, a key structure preventing damage from storm surges during hurricanes. Results of geotechnical analysis, soil borings and hydraulic fracture analysis proved that the HDD approach was not possible under the strict standards set by the Corps for critical levees. The presentation will discuss the benefits and challenges of the Direct Pipe method, and why it is quickly becoming the go-to method for pipeline installation under critical levees along the Gulf Coast.

alan-sniderAlan Snider serves as Laney Directional Drilling’s president and CEO, and has over 22 years of experience in the trenchless industry serving clients in the oil and gas market. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Arkansas.


maureen-carlinMaureen Carlin serves as Strategic Marketing Manager at Laney Directional Drilling, and has over 12 years of experience in the construction industry. She holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University.

11:00-11:25 a.m.
Torque in HDD Connections Before and After Wear
Dimitrios Katsareas, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineer, Premier Drill Pipe
Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) rod make-up torque and yield torque (or maximum/limit torque) are two of the most important characteristics in defining the optimal operating conditions and load capacity of HDD. This presentation will demonstrate how the API drill pipe torque formula (which is actually the “screw jack” formula) can be adapted to calculate torque in HDD. It will also show how the API torque formula can be modified to calculate torque in drill pipe (or HDD) double shouldered connections. Finally, it will illustrate how tool joint outer diameter wear affects torque and how this information can be of use by the operator.

katsareasDimitrios Katsareas, with a Ph.D. in Fracture Mechanics and a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, is a faculty member in the department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics of the University of Patras in Greece. He is also a consultant to the R&D departments of Premier Drill Pipe, which he organized and directed from 2012 to 2015, and Tejas Tubular Products, both in Houston TX. His expertise is in the design and testing of tubular products, threaded connections and weldments, in both the oil & gas and construction industries.

11:30-11:55 a.m.
You Cannot Manage What You Do Not Measure
Danny Crumpton, New Business Development/Technical Sales, INROCK
Managing your rig’s daily performance is essential to making money, getting the most out of your drilling equipment and maximizing the daily productivity of the job site. Are you measuring actual drilling hours or just circulating hours? Does your day crew always drill more than your night crew? Are your crews actually trying to make you money? How much life is left in expensive reamers and bits? Now there is a way to monitor your rigs, real time from anywhere. Today’s technology allows sensors to be located on a rig and data sent through a secure internet connection so you can monitor and analyze your rig to maximize performance and productivity.

crumptonDanny Crumpton, petroleum engineer, is the New Business Development manager and Technical Sales manager for INROCK. With INROCK since 1998, he started out as a guidance engineer, then was the guidance manager for North and South America for over 10 years. He has been involved in developing new products for the HDD industry since 1993.


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