Geoweb GW30V6 & LP45G High Strength Geotextile

LOCATION: Lloydminister, AB TIMEFRAME: June 2009

PRODUCT: Geoweb GW30V6 & LP45G High Strength Geotextile

PROJECT PARTNERS: Owner: Oil and Gas Producer Supplier: Layfield

Challenge

Oil and Gas producers are increasingly under pressure to explore and develop their resources in a more efficient, cost effective way. In order to cope with this more competitive landscape, construction managers at one large oil and gas producer approached Layfield to explore design alternatives to reduce costs for lease access roads and drilling pads.

They were interested in exploring innovative systems that were easy to deploy and that could reduce the amount of aggregate as well as reduce the amount of operational maintenance required. However, it was very important for the owner that any cost reductions did not come at the expense of top notch performance. Access roads are typically designed to handle construction, drilling and completions equipment with loads of exceeding 125,000 lbs. (15,000 lbs. wheel loads)

Another challenge for owners is that often they have to build roads over very soft subgrade such as muskeg, saturated clay or in areas where suitable fill material is either scarce or very expensive. For this application, the owner requested that Layfield design a road cross section that could be built over a soft clay sub-base with a CBR (California Bearing Ratio) of approximate 0.9.

The owner’s construction team agreed to give Layfield an opportunity to demonstrate that new technologies could result in significant cost savings. The company requested Layfield to design and supervise the installation of two test lease access roads sections located in NE Alberta near Lloydminister. The test sections where 7.6 m wide and 340 m long, and 7.6m wide by 240 m long.

Solution

Layfield recommended the use of Presto’s Geoweb load support system. The Geoweb system is a three-dimensional cellular structure that confines infill materials and controls shearing, lateral, and vertical movement of infill materials. It also allows the use low quality and cost effective infill such as coarse sand to build roads and structures that can withstand very high loads. The Geoweb system increases the structural cohesion of the infill material and thus increases its effectiveness.

Layfield designed and supplied Presto’s Geoweb GW30V6 and a LP45G high strength geotextile. Layfield recommended that the owner not use any aggregate in the construction of this road to prove the performance of the Geoweb system. Instead, Layfield recommended the use of reject screening from crushing operations (coarse sand <5mm) as the infill material for the Geoweb cross section.

A small crew of 3 laborers were able to deploy the Geoweb & textile at a rate of 280m2 / hour. A small skid steer bobcat was used to spread the fill coarse sand infill material, which was compacted then graded to complete the project.

The design that Layfield implemented has the potential to save on infill materials, reduce the environmental impact of any site by both using reject fines as infill and reducing the amount of fill required to construct a project site. A typical cross section for a haul road over soft subgrade is approx 1.5m and that can be reduced to less than 300mm through the use of the correct materials such as Geoweb. The potential for savings in big projects is astronomical.

Results

The owner was very impressed with the performance of the cross section and is moving toward using this design and material where practical for all future lease and pad construction. Layfield demonstrated that it is possible to build long lasting roads that support very heavy loads over very soft subgrade and use less aggregate by using innovative, high tech construction materials.

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