Initial trials utilizing the GEOWEB® 3D soil confinement in place of heavy rig matting in the Lloydmister and Girouville AB region for one oil company’s drilling pad proved so successful, the system is now the ‘go-to’ solution for their laydown pads.
Why is the GEOWEB® 3D system so successful for pads?
First, the soil confinement material is made from weather-resistant HDPE material. That means the constructed pads can withstand the wettest soils and harshest conditions of Northern Canada over the duration of the project without any degradation. Another benefit is realized by the confinement characteristics of the GEOWEB system, allowing local fill to be used—even reject screenings from the oil company’s crushing operations (coarse sand <5 mm) rather than having to import expensive aggregate materials to site. This solution can save the project 40-60% compared to renting rig mats.
How does installation of the GEOWEB pads compare to rig mats or timber mats?
There are no weather restrictions for when the GEOWEB® system must be installed, so the pads can be installed in any conditions. Installation does not require heavy equipment, so construction is safe for workers. As soon as the material arrives at the jobsite, it is ready for installation. Each GEOWEB® section is collapsed in a manageable bundle for one worker to handle—expanding on site to 2.4 m (8 ft) width x 6 m (20 ft) length. Strong polymer connection keys join sections together end to end and side to side forming a contiguous pad. This connection is fast and efficient as well as corrosion- and weather-resistant.
Installers can capitalize on these construction savings both in terms of cost and installation time. A team of 3 laborers can deploy the GEOWEB material at a rate of ~280 m2/hour. They simply expand and secure the GEOWEB sections over a geotextile layer, deliver the infill materials by large dump trucks, and spread the infill evenly throughout the cells with a small skid steer, dozer or loader. Once filled, the GEOWEB pads are ready for immediate traffic use. Local Canadian geosynthetics supplier and GEOWEB® distributor, Layfield Group, has over 15 years experience assisting with installations in the region.
Can the GEOWEB® system be used for roads?
Alberta’s Oil Sands has utilized thousands of square meters of the GEOWEB 3D system for building roads and pads and must accommodate construction, drilling and completions equipment with loads often exceeding 125,000 lbs (15,000 lb wheel loads). See More on Site Access Roads >>
How does the system perform over soft subgrades?
The Oil Sands region is notorious for its extremely soft subgrades consisting of muskeg and saturated clays with very low CBR (California Bearing Ratio). The 3D system is ideally suited for these conditions. It greatly reduces the standard cross section required for soft subgrades from 1.5 m of aggregate to less than 300 mm-leading to huge savings!
How does the 3D system compare to 2D geogrids?
Geogrids work well for supporting heavy loading, but when it comes to supporting loads over extremely soft soils, they require two to three layers to perform effectively compared to one layer of the 3D system. Geogrids also require clean aggregate—making it an unappealing option dependent on both expensive materials and time-consuming installation. The other advantage that the 3D system offers is the stable driving surface. The confined infill reduces rutting, increases cycle times and requires virtually no maintenance. See the Comparison >>
The GEOWEB 3D system is a proven solution for building pads and roadways over soft subgrades – No weather or temperature restrictions. Easy to transport and easy to deploy material. Use of low-cost on-site fill. The GEOWEB system can handle the toughest site conditions, allowing energy companies quick access to their oil—without the cost of heavy, expensive matting.