Aker Stord to Decommission Shell Flare Tower

Shell has earlier this year awarded Saipem UK Ltd a Contract for removal of the flare tower for the A and B platforms and concrete anchor blocks for the previously removed Spar on the Shell UK Brent field, situated in the British sector of the North Sea. Now Saipem has awarded Aker Stord in Norway a subcontract for decommissioning and disposal (re-circulation/reuse) of the flare tower and anchor blocks. The Aker Stord subcontract is worth NOK 27 million.

The intention is that Saipem UK shall free the flare tower from its gravity base and prepare it for towing to Stord, on the West Coast of Norway during the summer 2005. Thereafter using the Saipem 7000 they will bring to the surface both the gravity base for the flare tower and six concrete blocks which each has a weight of approx. 1,000 tons and are situated on the sea bed 140 meters below the surface.

The flare tower was used for burning gas from the Brent A and B platforms during an early phase of the production. It is attached to a steel gravity base partly filled with concrete at a depth of 138 meters. The flare boom itself ranges 56 meters above sea level making the total height of the steel construction 194 meters. It is kept upright in the sea by a round buoyancy tank, which is 10 meters high and 10 meters in diameter and is 120 meters from the seabed. Total weight of the construction is approx. 1,675 tons; where of 1,025 tons is the steel framework and 650 tons the steel/concrete gravity base.

The flare tower, which has not been in use during the recent years, is to be towed to Aker Stord, Norway, and moored preliminarily in the summer of 2005. There the top will be removed and placed on land. The rest of the construction will be divided into three pieces while situated at the bottom of the harbor basin. Thereafter the three sections will be lifted on land to the demolition plant.

Aker Stord expects a hundred percent re-circulation/reuse of the flare tower with its gravity base and the concrete anchor blocks.