The risks, associated with horizontal directional drilling (HDD) can have a significant impact on project schedule and cost. Contractors, engineers and owners are generally aware of the potential impact of this risk, but the awareness is largely qualitative in nature, and is thereby limiting for pointed decision making and the development of measured risk mitigation. Without quantitative information, industry stakeholders are without the means to evaluate risk strategies and identify appropriate risk mitigation measures in a manner that adequately develops and supports the business case for risk mitigation. As a result, the industry often has little choice other than to resort to accepting the risk and hoping for the best or transferring the risk using contractual methods. In order to move to a position of active assessment and mitigation, the industry needs quantitative information about the overall impact of risk as well as a comprehensive enumeration of risk events, the probability of occurrence and the impact of individual events. This paper looks at the general impact of risk as has occurred on 100 medium and large HDD projects. The general impact, in terms of schedule (and by extension, cost), serves to illuminate the need for structured risk mitigation. The paper also lists the risk events that have occurred on these 100 projects, as well as the frequency of occurrence, the average schedule impact and the Risk Index of each event type.

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