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Geocells and geotextiles for separation/reinforcement at an oil-drilling platform

Final Inspection | April 1, 2022 | By:

Installing and filling in the GEOWEB 3D Soil Stabilization System at the Angle Energy Inc. oil drilling platform, Olds, Alta., Canada. Photograph courtesy of Presto Geosystems

An Angle Energy Inc. oil drilling platform in northern Canada required year-round access for equipment to service and maintain a conventional wellsite pad. Several new wells were to be drilled on this pad, and since this location was not connected to a pipeline, continual heavy tanker truck traffic would need to access the site. 

Due to very weak soil conditions at the site, large ruts were continually being formed from heavy vehicles. The challenge was to provide a solution that was less expensive than conventional “rig or swamp matting” and that could be installed during the winter construction season and left in place for the life of the lease.

Contractors chose a geocell soil stabilization system and a high-strength geotextile for this project. A six-person work crew completed installation of the geotextile and the system on the 90,400 square-foot (8,400-m²) pad in less than one day. 

The bearing capacity of the thin 7.9-inch (200-mm) lift of gravel was substantially improved using the system and the geotextile for separation and reinforcement. Through the effects of confinement, the system creates an additional 220 psi (1,517 kPa) of cohesion to supplied granular material, creating a stable platform that withstands heavy truck traffic and resists rutting.

SIDEBAR: Project Highlights

Geosynthetics for separation/reinforcement at an oil drilling platform


Angle Energy Inc.


Olds, Alta., Canada


GEOWEB Geocells


Presto Geosystems


Mirafi HP270 High Strength Geotextiles


TenCate Geosynthetics Americas

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