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RIG REBIRTH

A deep water quay at Mekjarvik, Norway, was opened last month, bringing to a close the debacle surrounding disposal of the Brent Spar oil rig.

The owner, oil and gas giant Shell, commissioned Anglo-Norwegian joint venture contractor Wood GMC to build a 146m long,20m deep quay extension using four sections of the rig's main column. Using a massive floating crane from subcontractor Heerema, Wood GMC cut the 29m diameter main column into four 22m tall sections, weighing between 1,100t and 1,800t. To avoid environmental contamination these were cleaned before being barged to site and lowered into position.

Brent Spar's 7,500t base section was towed to site and ballasted in position. Wood GMC then drove piles along the quay front before installing a grouted erosion blanket at the its base and placing rock around the sections. Concrete superstructure elements were brought in from a casting yard at Hinna.

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