NJNG Drill Pipe Is Stuck, Delaying Work on Gas Line to LBI

Mar 27, 2019
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

A New Jersey Natural Gas project to lay a new secondary gas line across Little Egg Harbor from West Creek to Long Beach Island has encountered a problem: a pipe is stuck.

Supervising engineer Joe Puglisi from NJNG attended the Eagleswood Township Committee meeting March 25 to report that a pipe in the ground is stuck, and all efforts thus far to dislodge it have been unsuccessful. The work has been held up for several weeks as a result.

Ultimately the project will run 2.72 miles of 12-inch Powercrete epoxy-coated steel pipe as a secondary feed under Little Egg Harbor, by way of directional boring or horizontal directional drilling, from the end of Dock Road in West Creek to West 99th Street (Alabama Avenue) in Beach Haven Park.

The plan is to drill a bore path in both directions to meet at a barge in the middle, Puglisi explained. Then workers will ream the pipe out and enlarge it in preparation to lay the gas-carrying pipe.

The pipe that is currently stuck is a drill pipe, not a gas-carrying pipe, Puglisi said. They were in the process of drilling a borehole; while work was paused over a weekend, the drill head sank into the ground and dropped below the borehole.

The workers are going to try pulling it with the drill rig. Once it is freed, the drilling operation can resume. They’re still hoping to meet the projected late-May deadline, but right now the time frame is uncertain.

The township committee expressed hope the job could be finished on time, as that public recreation area at the end of Dock Road is very important to residents, and especially to fishermen.

About a week after the pipe is freed, the work will be ready to shift to a 24-hour operation, hopefully by mid-April, Puglisi said.

With regard to the LBI side of things, “I’m not even sure we’re going to be able to do (start) that drilling on that side, as of now.” —V.F.

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