Mackenzie Gas Pipeline Project
NES is working with the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline (MGP) project to see if heatpipe technology, developed during the Northwest Alaskan Pipeline project and extended by NES can be used to mitigate frost heave and thaw settlement of the MGP pipeline. This work includes adapting techniques we’ve developed on the North Slope to install the heatpipes alongside high-pressure, operating pipelines and wells. NES has also done various specialty studies for the MGP and more are planned.
ConocoPhillips Canada Resources
NES is working with ConocoPhillips Canada (CPC) to adapt wellpad technology developed in Alaska to their Parsons Lake wellpad, which is part of the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline project. Work with CPC includes wellpad design, evaluation of old reserve pits, review of geotechnical designs by EBA and others and review of casing integrity studies done by C-FER and EBA and specialty studies and reviews.
Effect of Climate Change on Wintertime Construction Season Length
NES recently finished a project with BPXA and VECO Engineering to predict the effect climate change may have on the length of the wintertime, i.e., ice pad and ice road, construction season for a proposed pipeline along the Dalton Highway in Alaska, and along the Alaska Highway from Fairbanks to Alberta.
NES continues to work with Alpine’s operations and engineering groups on geotechnical and geothermal engineering projects along the wellrow, sumps, flares and general pad stability. Analysis of data from the horizontal directionally drilled (HDD) crossing has also continued. Together with ConocoPhillips Dean Carson we published a technical paper in May 2004 comparing measured and predicted temperatures for the HDD. Ongoing projects at Alpine include the new fleet maintenance building, creep of piperack VSMs, a new utiliway to carry pipes coming from new wellpads, plus wellrow and facility foundation designs for the new wellpads.
BPXA Borealis Thaw Subsidence Project
NES continues to work with BPXA to minimize thaw subsidence around wells and creep of pipe supports. NES’ role has been geothermal design and field engineering.
Puviaq Over-Summer Insulated Ice Pad Project
NES worked with ConocoPhillips on the design, construction and monitoring of the Puviaq, over-summer ice pad project. At Puviaq, insulated panels were used to preserve an ice pad over summer. This allowed ConocoPhillips to leave an exploration rig, stacked upon the insulated ice pad through the summer, near the well to be drilled the next winter. The Puviaq location is more than 100 miles west of Kuparuk, in NPRA. Normally, the rig would have to be transported back to existing infrastructure in the spring, and then transported back to the well location the next winter. NES’ role was engineering design, owner’s representative during construction and summertime monitoring and maintenance.
Northstar Cellar Retrofit
NES worked with BPXA to rebuild all well cellars at Northstar, replacing original cellars and building structural frameworks to support well-house floors and well houses. NES managed the design and field installation effort. Installation took a crew of 12 approximately 4 weeks to complete
Northstar Thaw Subsidence
NES is working with BPXA to arrest thaw settlement along the wellrow at Northstar. NES designed and managed installation of heatpipes near the wellrow in 2003 and near the piperack in 2004. Monitoring of soil temperatures continues. Technology inspired during installation of conductors at Northstar, then refined during installation of heatpipe casings and instrumentation at Kuparuk, is going to be applied at Northstar. NES’ role is geothermal and geotechnical engineering, including 3D modeling, field planning and field project management.
Alaska Gas Pipeline Project Team
NES worked with SSD and the Alaska Gas Pipeline Project Team (AGPPT) on frost heave and thaw settlement predictions for AGPPT’s proposed 36-inch, high pressure pipeline to transport natural gas from Prudhoe Bay to Alberta. SSD, AGPPT and NES brought state-of-the-art analysis tools and technology to the project – AGPPT with proprietary Exxon Production Research studies and analytical tools, SSD with their PIPLIN pipe stress model, and NES with our TQUEST geothermal and frost heave model and detailed understanding of the full-scale, frost heave field tests done during the Northwest Alaskan Pipeline and Canadian Arctic Gas Study projects.
Buried Pipelines in Permafrost
NES worked with a study group considering the feasibility of burying hot, 3-phase production pipes and utility pipes in frozen, thaw unstable soils on the North Slope. Typically, VSMs (vertical support members) are used. The study group includes owners, regulators, environmental/permitting engineers, construction and arctic engineers. For this study we drew upon our experience on conceptual designs for the Kuparuk pipeline (circa 1979) and Alpine pipeline, where burying pipelines in roadways was considered. NES, and select others from the larger group, extended the results from the larger study and developing more detailed designs and cost estimates.
Coupled Thermal and Gas Hydraulics Model
NES is working with TransCanada Pipe Lines (TCPL) on system design optimization for the proposed ANGTS pipeline to carry gas from Alaska’s North Slope to Alberta and on TCPL’s pipeline in Alberta, connecting to the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline. Options for compressor station spacing, capacity, pipeline diameter, chilling capacity and effects of gas temperature cycling on frost heave and thaw settlement are being modeled with the coupled gas hydraulics and geothermal model developed by NES and Foothills Pipelines (now wholly owned by TCPL). This state-of-the-art model couples NES’ finite-element geothermal model, TQUEST, to Foothills’ TEMPFLO gas hydraulics model. NES is proceeding to expand this technology, now focused upon improving computation speed using a NES technology for massively parallel, distributed computing.
NES and TCPL have developed procedures and software to digitize major segments of these pipelines, allowing sensitivity studies to proceed. Sensitivity studies include effects of initial soil temperatures, material properties, system ramp up, and gas temperature cycling.
Kuparuk PowerGen and GEX Compressor Projects
NES worked with ConocoPhillips and Alaska Anvil on the geotechnical and geothermal design for foundations supporting the PowerGen project at Kuparuk’s CPF1, and the GEX compressor project at CPF2. Both projects used slab-on-grade construction, and both had areas of the floor expected to exceeding 150 F. Several times each year we review soil temperatures measured by thermistor strings under these buildings.
NES is working with ConocoPhillips to change the allowable service duty and reestablish cold permafrost under Divert Tank B at Kuparuk’s CPF1. Heatpipes extracting heat under the tank had become increasingly blocked with non-condensable gas, as shown in our review of FLIR (forward looking infrared) video taken over several years and gradual increase in soil temperatures under the tank. Our modeling showed measured soil temperatures under the tank were consistent with falling heatpipe capacities and that by revitalizing the heatpipes, the service temperature of the tank could be increased, and permafrost temperatures would cool again.
Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska's North Slope
NES provided technical input to the National Academies of Sciences’ study on the Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska's North Slope, being designated by both ConocoPhillips and BPXA to answer the NAS’ geothermal and geotechnical questions.
NES has worked on several projects with Thermacor Process, a Texas-based manufacturer of insulated pipes and fittings. Projects have included modeling of heat loss from existing systems, to modeling of innovative Thermacor designs.
AGPPT Trenching Project, Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay
NES is working with BPXA to model the behavior of trenches in frozen, icy silt near Prudhoe and Fairbanks, Alaska. These 6.5-foot wide by 8-foot deep trenches were cut with a high-volume chain trencher in an AGPPT project designed to gather trencher productivity data needed for construction costs estimates and schedules, and to test options for trench backfill and mounding. After matching settlement and changes in material properties measured during summer thawing, TQUEST is being used to project future thawing and consolidation of trench spoils above a hypothetical large-diameter buried gas pipeline.
Anadarko Petroleum, Alaska
NES is working with Anadarko Petroleum to look at the feasibility of applying insulated ice pad technology, which we helped to develop for BPXA projects and have refined at the Puviaq project, to their exploration prospects along Alaska’s North Slope. Using insulation to preserve an ice pad over the summer is being considered – similar to our projects at Yukon Gold and Puviaq. Conceptual designs for year-round drilling are also being considered.
Colville River Pipeline Crossing
NES is working with ConocoPhillips to monitor their horizontal, directionally drilled pipeline crossings under the Colville River. NES did the geothermal design for the crossing, using our TQUEST 3D finite-element model, and has shown good comparisons between predicted and measured soil temperatures. We’ve also worked closely with ConocoPhillips to define the allowable shut-down duration for the buried seawater pipeline, i.e., to keep it from becoming blocked with ice, and with simulations to support desirable changes in allowable operations temperatures.
Meltwater, Palm, Milne S-Pad, East Dock Injectors
NES worked with ConocoPhillips, Alaska Anvil and NANA Colt on the geothermal design of insulated conductors and heatpipes for the new Meltwater and Palm wellpads near Kuparuk. We also worked with BPXA, NANA Colt and VECO Engineering for designs of insulated conductors and heatpipes for the new Milne S-Pad wellrow, and for high-volume seawater injectors at Prudhoe’s East Dock.
Kuparuk Thaw Subsidence Team
NES continues to work with Kuparuk’s Thaw Subsidence Team and Anvil Alaska to arrest thaw subsidence and creep of adfreeze pile pipe supports at Kuparuk drill sites. Beginning in fall 2000, over 100 heatpipes were installed near operating wells at 5 drill sites. These heatpipes were being inserted in 6” diameter sealed steel casings installed using a vibratory pile-driving hammer. Approximately 50 more heatpipes were during fall 2001 and fall 2002. This technique for installing the casings was demonstrated by a field pilot project designed and implemented by NES and Alaska Anvil.
NES continues to work with the Thaw Subsidence Team to develop recommendations for new wells on existing and new drill pads.
ANS Gas Pipeline
NES worked with Michael Baker Engineering, SSD, and the ANS Gas Pipeline Consortium on design, construction and operation of a large-diameter a pipeline to transport Alaskan North Slope natural gas to ports near Valdez or along Cook Inlet near Anchorage. NES was responsible for frost heave and thaw settlement predictions, pipeline heat flux and general geotechnical support, and helped define and develop proposed aggressive, technically feasible construction and operations practices. NES helped with similar design studies, including state-of-the-art laboratory testing and field sample collection, for the proposed Yukon Pacific Pipeline.
NES also worked with ANS on alternate gas chilling and LNG storage conceptual designs, for validation of Foothills Pipeline’s combined gas hydraulics and geothermal model, and for 3D combined fluid and geothermal simulations.
BPXA Northstar Production Island
NES worked with BPXA Drilling to predict settlement of their offshore, production island as heat lost from the production wells and injectors would melt frozen gravel used to construct the island. Adequate and reliable support for the rig is important. Model simulations showed that insulated casings and heatpipes were necessary to prevent thaw settlement around injectors during the multi-year drilling program. In addition to detailed design, NES represented BPXA Drilling during installation of well conductors and casings.
Startup of Alpine Pipelines
NES worked with Phillips Alaska engineers and Michael Baker Engineering to develop recommendations for cold-weather startup of the Alpine oil and seawater pipelines. This work included modeling of options for warming the (-40F) cold-soaked pipeline using high-volume hot gas and a hot diesel pill. In the case of the oil pipeline, the goal was to ensure the oil arrived in Kuparuk warm enough to minimize wax deposition and gelling. In the case of the seawater pipeline, the goal was to prevent ice crystal growth. We used our TQUEST and LINEPIPE models for this project.
Alaska DOT, Yellow Eagle Landslide
NES worked with engineers from the Alaska Department of Transportation, Landslide Technology and Duane Miller & Associates to study options for stabilizing a landslide along the Parks highway near Fairbanks. The landslide was occurring in warm, icy permafrost. One of the options being considered was to cool the sliding mass using a network of vertical casings and high volume ambient air blowers, similar to an NES project on the North Slope where settlement of BP’s Toolservice building was arrested by restoring (cold) permafrost temperature.
Milne Point L-Pad Produced Water Booster Pumps
NES worked with BP Exploration, Alaska, (BPXA) and VECO Engineering and Construction to design and install a vertical booster pump at Milne’s L-Pad to increase pressure of water used for enhanced oil recovery. The first of its kind, an insulated conductor was installed in a 120-foot deep, 48-inch hole in thaw-unstable permafrost. Heatpipes and insulation were used to keep the 130F conductor from melting permafrost. NES’ role was geothermal and geotechnical design, construction engineering and management, instrumentation and data acquisition. One of NES’ dataloggers remains at the site, collecting soil temperatures alongside the buried conductor. These data provide first-quality validation of NES’ 3-dimensional TQUEST modeling capability.
Drilling Toolservice Building Settlement
NES worked with Fairweather, Inc., and BPXA to successfully arrest settlement of BPXA’s Drilling Toolservice building in Prudhoe. Adfreeze piles supporting the building have been fitted with high-volume blowers to force cold ambient air down the piles. The blowers are operated during winter months to restore cold permafrost temperatures and stop pile creep. NES’ role is geothermal and geotechnical design, field engineering and monitoring.
Kuparuk Central Production Facility 2 NGL Boosters
NES worked with ARCO Alaska and Alaska Anvil to design, construct and monitor twin NGL vertical booster pumps at ARCO’s CPF2 facility. The vertical boosters are suspended inside insulated conductor cans, inserted in 4-foot diameter, 125-foot deep holes drilled in icy permafrost. NES’ role was geothermal and geotechnical design, construction planning and execution, and ARCO’s single-point of contact for downhole, wellhead and pump construction, and downhole geothermal instrumentation.
Nuiqsut Gas Pipeline
NES is working with LCMF and Duane Miller & Associates to design the buried length of the proposed Nuiqsut Gas Pipeline. Hot gas from ARCO’s Alpine development is proposed to be transported in a 3-inch coil-tubing pipeline to the village of Nuiqsut on Alaska’s North Slope. NES’ role is geothermal and geotechnical design of the belowground length of the pipeline. The pipeline is proposed to be buried in thaw unstable permafrost. Where the warm gas pipeline transitions from above to belowground, the pipeline is proposed to be laid in an over-excavated ditch backfilled with thaw stable gravel. The over-excavated ditch is designed to be large enough to keep the thaw bulb generated by the pipe from penetrating into thaw unstable permafrost. The dimensions of the over-excavated ditch are designed to get smaller as the gas loses heat to the surrounding soil, and cools. Within a short distance, the gas temperature is expected to be close to ambient, allowing a minimal cover depth and ditch width.
Barrow Landfill Closeout, Permafrost Landfill
NES is working with LCMF, the U.S. Army’s Cold Regions Research Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), Travis Environmental, Foster Wheeler Environmental, the U.S. Navy and The North Slope Borough to closeout the Barrow Landfill as a permafrost landfill.
Kuparuk Drill Site 3M Thaw Subsidence
NES worked with ARCO Alaska and Alaska Anvil on a geothermal and geotechnical design to arrest settlement of ARCO’s “long wellhouse” at DS-3M. Icy permafrost underlying the wellpad was being melted by heat lost from the closely spaced wells. Extensive snow drifting on the production piping side of the well row was increasing the rate of thawing and settlement. Previous efforts to resupport the wellhouses and minimize settlement rate had been less successful than needed. Boreholes drilled during this study showed potential for significant additional settlement. NES, ARCO and Anvil developed a design to use transverse beams to support the wellhouses on the permafrost ledge predicted to surround the well row, and heatpipes to preserve the permafrost ledge. The location of extent of the permafrost ledge, predicted by TQUEST, was confirmed by field exploration.
Liberty Spray Ice Island
NES worked with Duane Miller & Associates and BPXA to construct the Liberty Spray Ice Island, built for the Liberty #1 exploration well. NES’ role during island construction was field and construction engineering and quality assurance. After island construction, NES helped BPXA and Pool Arctic Alaska assemble Rig 4 upon insulated panels, and to monitor settlement and ice island temperatures during drilling.
Yukon Gold Multi-Season Ice Pad
NES worked with BPXA, Duane Miller & Associates and Powell Construction Services to study the feasibility of constructing multi-season ice pads to be used for winter oil exploration in the Arctic. Together with CATCO and Peak Oilfield Services, the team constructed the Yukon Gold ice pad in March and insulated the pad with re-usable insulated panels. The ice pad survived through the summer, and allowed BPXA to drill two wells during the winter season, where normally only one could be drilled. NES’ role was geothermal design and economic feasibility, engineering specifications, purchasing support, prototype development, construction engineering and management, instrumentation, data acquisition and monitoring.
NES developed TQUEST, a state-of-the-art finite element heat transfer model for one, two and three dimensional heat transfer. TQUEST has been used for 100s of engineering projects such as large-diameter cold-gas pipelines, passive and active soil freezing, design of laboratory soil test cells, hot-oil pipelines, soil freezing to block contaminate transport, landfills and utility projects in permafrost soils. TQUEST is fully supported with tools developed by NES, including a cad-based finite-element grid generator, grid optimizers, and prediction analysis and presentation tools.
TQUEST has been widely compared with field data in technical publications, and independently validated against analytical solutions by CRREL (U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory).
Milne Point F-Pad Boosters
NES worked with BPXA and VECO Engineering and Construction to design and install twin, vertical boosters at Milne’s F-Pad. NES’ role was the same as the L-Pad Booster project, plus Drilling’s representative during casing and wellhead installation.
ANS Gas Commercialization, Geotechnical & Snow Pads
NES worked with ARCO, BPXA, EXXON and Michael Baker, Jr., to develop aggressive, technically feasible ideas and design field demonstration projects for increased use of ice and snow pads for construction of the proposed Alaska natural gas pipeline, and to predict the thermal effect a buried, warm-gas pipeline would have on Alyeska Pipeline’s above-ground pipeline supports (VSMs).
Alpine Colville River Crossing
NES is working with Michael Baker Engineering and ARCO to design and construct the horizontal directionally drilled pipeline crossing of the Colville River for ARCO’s Alpine Development. NES’ role has been geothermal design of the below to aboveground transitions through thaw unstable permafrost, predictions of long-term thaw settlement, general geothermal design support, instrumentation design, and permit support.
Early Tundra Travel
NES has continued to work with ARCO, BPXA and other interested parties to develop the technical basis and define field demonstration programs to prove the viability of regular, early winter tundra travel. This work is intended to support tundra travel during mid November, rather than early January, which has been common in recent years.
Geothermal Design, North Slope Borough Water and Sewer Projects
NES worked with Shiltec Alaska and Cold Regions Technology to gather geotechnical data, install data acquisition systems, design and operate test facilities and perform the geothermal design for buried water and sewer projects at Wainwright, Anaktuvuk Pass, Pt. Lay, Pt. Hope, Atqasuk, Nuiqsut, Kaktovik and several projects for Barrow, Alaska. NES continues to be involved with design and construction support on these projects.
NES worked with ARCO Alaska to design and install insulated conductors and heatpipes to preserve near-surface permafrost at their Alpine wellpads. NES’ role during design was geothermal and geotechnical engineering and instrumentation. NES also worked with ARCO to look at the effect on produced fluid wellhead temperatures as a function of well-string and tubing annulus fluids and use of centralizers.
NES has continued to work with ARCO (now ConocoPhillips) on options for extracting more heat from the ground, to respond to generally higher than expected production, gas injection temperatures and rates.
ARCO Drill Site 4 Waste Transfer Facility
NES worked with ARCO to design a temporary waste storage facility proximate to their Drill Site 4 Grind and Inject facility. NES’ role has been geothermal design, including presentations to regulators.
Mongolia Water Distribution System
NES continues to work with Cold Regions Technology and Shiltec Alaska for geothermal design of water pipelines and water service kiosks for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
CC2A Surge Pit
BPXA constructed a concrete-lined storage area near their CC2A Ball Mill to temporarily store drilling muds and cuttings to be ground up and injected. NES’ role was geothermal design of the pit, to ensure stability of underlying permafrost. We also installed and monitored thermistor sensors under the concrete slabs to verify model predictions.
NES consulted with Quadco and BPXA to design, construct and monitor a vent pipe and insulation system designed to arrest settlement of their drill-cuttings offloader building. NES’ role was geothermal design, construction management, instrumentation and performance monitoring.
NES worked with BPXA to design heating and cooling buried pipe systems to increase the temperature of petroleum-contaminated gravel to increase bioremediation, while preserving underlying thaw unstable permafrost.
Badami and Sequoia Reserve Pit Closeout
NES worked with BPXA and ENSR to analyze soil temperature and thaw probe data, proving drilling waste reserve pits had frozen and were thermally stable.
Sourdough #2 and #3
NES worked with BPXA to design, construct and insulate ice pads at their Sourdough #2 and #3 exploration wells. Sourdough #2 was built with the option of leaving the drill rig on the ice pad through the summer. A simple network of ambient air vent pipes and blowers were installed in the ice pad to extract heat underneath the operating drill rig. Sourdough #3 used insulated panels to preserve ice under the rig to provide the option of leaving the rig on site through the summer, and to prevent any thawing of the ice pad during drilling. NES’ role was engineering design, construction engineering and management, instrumentation and data acquisition.
Oak Ridge Radioactive Waste Containment
NES worked with Arctic Foundations, Inc., to design an actively refrigerated frozen soil wall to contain radioactive waste and radioactive groundwater at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The project has been very successful, and may be the model for additional containment projects.
Niakuk Well Spacing
NES worked with BPXA to predict the effect on permafrost stability and thaw settlement if well spacings at Niakuk were reduced.
Liberty Gravel Production Island Pipeline Simulations
NES worked with BPXA and Duane Miller & Associates to simulate soil temperatures of the proposed Liberty gravel production island after wells and pipelines began operation.
BPXA worked with BPXA to install insulated conductors and cellars for their Badami #4 and #5 exploration wells.
East Sag Regional Disposal Facility
NES worked with ARCO Alaska to design the drilling waste disposal facility. After construction, NES and ARCO entered a Joint Research Project to monitor near-surface soil temperatures for geothermal model confirmation and design refinement. NES monitored and reported thaw depths, soil temperatures and cap settlement during the first 5 years of operation, as required by permit stipulation.
Kuparuk Drill Site 3G Reserve Pit Closeout
NES worked with ARCO to design the final cover and cap design to increase the capacity and closeout Kuparuk’s Drill Site 3G.
Kuparuk CPF1 Turbine Foundation
NES worked with ARCO and Alaska Anvil to design a slab-on-grade foundation for ARCO’s Frame 6 turbine at CPF1. NES’ role was geothermal design, using insulation and heatpipes to preserve thaw unstable permafrost under the turbine.
Flexpipe Production Pipeline
NES worked with ARCO to predict the long-term effect heat loss from insulated hot oil flexible flowline pipe would have on permafrost and pipe stability.
Big Holes at Drill Sites 15 & 18
NES worked with ARCO Alaska to analyze soil temperature data collected at ARCO’s Big Holes, drilled at Drill Sites 15 and 18, Prudhoe Bay. These holes were 8 to 10-foot diameter and up to 100 feet deep. They were drilled to serve as disposal cells for drilling waste generated by nearby well drilling. Measured data were compared with geothermal model predictions.
NES worked with Yukon Pacific for frost heave and thaw settlement design. NES was the projectmanager for geotechnical technology development for the proposed $12 billion Trans-Alaska Gas System. Geotechnical technology areas included frost heave, thaw settlement, geotechnical exploration, insulation, permafrost stability, computer modeling and laboratory testing. NES was the operator of a joint-research project for state-of-the-art test cell development and laboratory testing with Exxon Production Research and Esso Resources Canada, Ltd.
Illinois Creek Mine Heap Leach
NES worked with HDR Engineering and the Illinois Creek Mine on the geothermal design for the heap leach system to be used at Illinois Creek. Analyses included predictions of year-by-year thaw and frost depths, design of pipelines and distribution pipes, and laboratory analyses of required chemical temperatures to ensure chemical flow in frozen, ore-bearing soil.
NES worked with Duane Miller & Associates & Arctic Slope Consulting Group to design the Kotzebue permafrost landfill. Kotzebue’s facility was the first permitted as a permafrost landfill.
NES is working with Duane Miller & Associates, USKH and Advanced Power Technology, Inc., on the geothermal and geotechnical design of thermopiles to support antennas for the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project (HAARP). The HAARP site is located near Gulkana, Alaska. The first (demonstration) phase of the project has been in operation for several years. Now, the design for expanding the field system is under way.
OTH-B Radar Project
NES worked with Frank Moolin & Associates and Duane Miller & Associates to gather geotechnical information and design foundations and cooling systems for the Over the Horizon, Backscatter Radar sites at Gulkana, Tok and Tetlin, Alaska.
Barrow Cultural Center
NES worked with Duane Miller & Associates to design the slab-on-grade foundation system for the Barrow Cultural Center. The foundation system used shall-slope heatpipes, arranged in a radial pattern as required architecturally, and insulation to preserve underlying thaw-unstable icy permafrost.
Northwest Alaskan Gas Pipeline Company
Mr. Beez Hazen , NES, was responsible for technical coordination, review and approval of designs for full-scale field tests sites in Alaska, which were constructed to gather arctic engineering data for pipeline design. Sites were built to measure the effects of surface disturbance, frost heave, uplift strength of frozen soils and the relative performance and optimum configuration of heat pipes. Field sites ranged from Wiseman, Alaska, to the Canadian Border.
He evaluated and approved selection and testing of instrumentation and mechanical equipment for field use. He was the technical coordinator for field activities during operation of the multi-million dollar test sites. He developed and managed field programs for trenching and drilling of frozen and thawed soils, for extraction of soil and buried insulation samples and for installation of instruments.
Barrow BUECI Gas Pipeline
NES worked with LCMF and Duane Miller & Associates on the geothermal and geotechnical design for Barrow Utilities and Electrical Cooperative, Inc.’s (BUECI’s) 8” diameter, natural gas pipeline serving Barrow. The uninsulated steel pipeline, buried in icy permafrost, operates warmer than ground temperature for a short distance, then loses heat and operates close to ambient / soil temperature.
Naval Arctic Research Laboratory Fuel Liner
NES worked with ENSERCH Environmental and Duane Miller & Associates to design a vertical curtain liner to stop migration of fuel and contaminated water to a nearby lake. The lake was being used as a drinking water source. The fuel had been spilled on a gravel pad and was migrating inside the pad, on top of icy permafrost. In addition to the synthetic, vertical curtain liner, insulation was used to aggrade permafrost alongside the liner, and collection pipes were installed on the up-gradient side of the liner to convey fuel to collection sumps.
Kuparuk Industrial Center Settlement
NES worked with LCMF and Duane Miller & Associates to arrest settlement of Kuparuk Industrial Center’s shop buildings. Heat loss through the floors of the buildings was melting thaw unstable soil beneath the buildings. The forced air vent tube system installed in the gravel pad below the buildings has become plugged with ice. Drilling through the floor of the building proved pad insulation was still competent, and the void below the floor slabs was small. Ground temperatures below the building, and computer modeling, showed permafrost could be restored by operating half of the available vent pipes. Tools for clearing the pipes were developed, demonstrated and implemented.
Service Area 10
NES worked with LCMF and Duane Miller & Associates to arrest settlement of Service Area 10’s solid waste handling, incinerator and water treatment facilities. Differential settlement of the floor, and evidence of a cavity forming under the building, was evidence of permafrost melting. Data gathered by mapping the cavity beneath the floor, soil temperatures beneath the floor, ground water elevations from wells installed outside the building and the operating history of the active refrigeration systems, were used to design programs for restoring permafrost.