Horizontal directional drilling, also known as HDD or directional boring, is quickly becoming the industry standard for below-ground pipe and conduit installation. It typically involves a surface-launched drilling rig to bore along a pre-determined path to install underground pipes, conduits, and cables without disrupting surface land along the path. HDD has become a fast, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly method alternative to traditional trenching and excavation methods.

Vortex Energy Services offers full-service horizontal directional drilling solutions for a wide variety of applications, including pipelines and underground utility installation. Read on to find out the benefits horizontal directional drilling can have for your next below-ground installation project.

Installation Without Obstacles

The primary appeal of horizontal directional drilling is its ability to bore for pipes in otherwise inaccessible areas. A wide variety of man made (roads, railways, existing utility infrastructure, etc.) and natural (waterways, muskeg, and wetlands) obstructions can prevent traditional trench or excavation methods from being used.

HDD uses a surface-launched drilling rig to bore underneath nearly any obstacle along the path. As a result, horizontal directional drilling is an effective solution to install pipes in a wide variety of circumstances, no matter what may be in the way.

Minimal Environmental Disruption

Horizontal directional drilling is the ideal solution when minimal surface disturbance is required. Drilling rigs can bore underneath nearly any obstacle, including deep rivers and treacherous swampland, while having zero effect on the surface for the length of the pipeline.

This benefit can be critical in operations in environmentally sensitive areas. HDD allows pipes and conduit installation with minimal disruption to wildlife and fragile natural ecosystems. With careful planning and attention to detail, horizontal directional drilling can help your organization minimize its environmental impact throughout your next project.

Safety First

Traditional trenched and excavation-based installation methods pose inherent safety risks to workers and equipment. Whenever there is an open trench, there is a risk of something going wrong, costing your operation time and money while endangering your crew.

Horizontal directional drilling’s unique approach minimizes excavation; instead of digging along the entire length of the pipeline, HDD only requires excavation at the entrance and termination points. Less open holes mean less risk to workers and equipment, making horizontal directional drilling the safest choice for your operation.


In addition to accessibility and environmental benefits, horizontal directional drilling is an efficient and cost-effective solution for most drilling projects. Compared to traditional trench digging, HDD is a much faster solution for underground installation, requiring smaller crews and less disruption to natural landscapes.

Additionally, horizontal directional drilling will save your organization worksite construction and cleanup. HDD only requires two small worksites on either end of the pipe. These sites will take significantly less time and fewer crew members to set up, tear down, and restore to their original condition, saving your operation both time and expenses on the process.

How Vortex Can Help

Vortex Energy Services offers comprehensive HDD solutions across Western Canada. Our services include:

  • Pre-job consulting and assessment
  • Pipe Fusion
  • Excavation
  • Directional Drilling
  • Surface Drilling Support Rentals
  • Access Matting

With experience in the energy and pipeline, engineering, environmental, regulatory, and municipal utility sectors, Vortex’s safety-oriented operators and support teams have the skills and knowledge to make your next drilling project a success. With the ability to efficiently service worksites across Alberta, Vortex Energy Services is your one-stop provider for all your horizontal directional drilling needs.

Ready to get your next HDD project started?

Contact us today to learn more about Vortex’s Horizontal Directional Drilling services.