Mount Airy, North Carolina - The US is counting on natural gas to play a greater role in its energy mix, and companies such as Canada's Talisman Energy and US partners, are racing to build gas pipelines through rough rural areas such as the Marcellus Shale region of northeastern PA where severe climates can be challenging and require new technologies such as TerraThane polyurethane foam systems, according to foam producer NCFI.
"We've been doing this for some time now and new technology like TerraThane polyurethane foam systems by NCFI is far superior to the old make-do methods like sandbags and flowable concrete admixtures in challenging conditions."Robert Tarapchak, president of TerraTek Field Services, based in Drums, Pennsylvania. The company specializes in polyurethane foam trench breakers, pads and rock shields for pipeline and construction jobs in remote northeastern Pennsylvania and the Eastern US.
In a recent job for Precision Pipeline in Bradford Co., Pennsylvania, a Talisman Energy 12-inch pipeline was threatened by wet weather making the use of traditional flowable concrete fill unreliable. "It would have drawn out set times and compromised the completion schedule, so our crew did a horizontal bore fill 12-15 feet from the sides of the ditch-line and used TerraThane to void fill the pipe crossing. TerraThane shields the pipeline, adheres to the pipe and ground material around it to protect from water erosion, and cures in no time at all. We couldn't have done that with other materials," said Tarapchak.
The TerraTek president says his company uses TerraThane polyurethane systems exclusively because, "There is minimal waste. It's ideal for shielding the pipeline, reducing water erosion, and it lasts the life of the pipeline-unlike sandbags-so maintenance costs are greatly reduced. Plus, as was the case in this Talisman pipeline job, applying the polyurethane foam requires less time in the trench, so it speeds up the job allowing the midstream guys to greatly reduce labour costs."