Where is the Internet? The Answer Is at the Bottom of the Ocean
Without the advent of directional drilling over the last 100 years, there would be no way to access vast stores of natural gas, oil, or coal. There would be no underwater internet cables, no way to make roads that traverse mountains, and no such thing as subway systems or gas stations.
Pipeline companies typically install and supervise many thousands of miles of tunnels that carry a variety of materials through the landscape, underground and undetected.
These installations are built to last and made to handle volume. Underground gas lines provide billions of cubic feet of gas to residential and commercial consumers over the course of a few decades.
In recent years, all eyes have been on directional boring as a revolutionary new technology. Whereas directional drilling involves creating a hole by earth or stone removal, directional boring enlarges existing holes via expansion and tension.
Some eco-friendly boring systems can also operate using water or air, depending upon the density of the earth that needs to be shifted and removed.
Directional boring is increasingly viewed as a low-cost, low-impact alternative for projects where pipeline companies cannot or do not want to disturb the landscape.
Needing to update gas lines near a busy highway, for instance, or having to cross a nature preserve to install new internet cables: in these situations, directional drilling companies have learned that horizontal boring can save delicate projects (lower costs, less environmental disruption).
Basically, pipeline companies are responding to concerns about ecological health. The underground network of internet, natural gas, and oil pipes make up almost one-fifth of the total system of energy exchange (above-ground pipes, towers and electrical and cable lines make up the rest). Maintaining older tunnels, minimizing the impact of new ones, and keeping tabs of the health of the entire system remains a pressing concern within the industry.