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Michels helps customer advance pipeline safety

Michels crews are always up for a new challenge: That is why Michels Canada was honored to closely partner with Enbridge to help meet their goal of a technological safety breakthrough underneath the North Saskatchewan River.

Michels crews used Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) to bore a 36-inch-diameter, 966-metre-long (0.6 miles) hole under the river. Next, we built a custom pullhead to simultaneously pull a 24-inch steel pipe and an unconstrained heavy plastic conduit through the passageway. The two fiber-optic cables inside the conduit support a state-of-the-art leak detection in the crude-oil pipeline.

Pulling the steel pipe and plastic conduit into place at the same time without tethering them together was challenging, yet necessary to allow coating verification and fiber-optic test signals during installation. Michels crews had to be vigilant of the position of the conduit during pullback to make certain that the conduit did not shift beneath the pipe which would put it at a higher risk for damage.

Close communication with Enbridge was crucial in successfully completing this ambitious project. The project was completed in September and October.

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