For the past two months, gas pipeline construction in Texas has put one line of crawler and rough terrain cranes to the test. At two locations, one near Hallettsville and another near Cotulla, Sany America has fielded four machines in the Eagle Ford Shale.
Willbros’ engineers are busy building fingers for slug catchers along the pipeline, a job that requires assembling 42-inch, schedule-888 pipe to capture condensed gas as it moves down the pipeline.
“Because the pipe is so long, we are doing mostly tandem lifts, and these cranes have tremendous advantages over other pieces of equipment that we could be using,” said John Rester, superintendent on the White Kitchen lateral pipeline near Cotulla Rester. “If you compare running these machines with other alternatives, such as large excavators, the gains in efficiency and the cost savings are quite large.”
Willbros’ massive tubing weighs 400 pounds per foot and comes in 40-foot sections. Once six or more sections are joined together, the weight totals 100,000 to 120,000 pounds, and the completed slug catcher holds roughly 500,000 gallons of fuel.
On the job site, veteran crane operators have also found the new Sany machines easy to use. “Even with the uneven terrain out here, the Sany cranes handle the weight well and they’re really fast coming down to pick up rigging,” said Derrick Moore, crane operator with Willbros.
Source: Sany America