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17Feb94 UK: SAGA TAKES LIGHT VIEW OF TRADITIONAL OIL WELL PROTECTION METHODS.

Oil company Saga Petroleum has come up with a lightweight alternative to traditional methods of protecting its wells.At its Tordis field in Norway the satellite wells are covered by steel barriers - shaped like truncated pyramids - to prevent interference from fishing activities.But for the central water injection well, which is used to pressurise the oil reservoir, the client wanted more natural protection, and chose to set the wellhead below the mud line in a silo.The 7.5 m deep cylindrical steel structure was designed by Kvaerner Energy to penetrate the seabed by 6.5 m.At 120 tonnes it weighs considerably less than the 200 tonne pyramids.The silo penetrated the first 5 m under its own weight, and the rest was sunk by dredging inside the silo and applying suction. British company Alluvial Mining was called in for the specialist pumping to achieve the right suction levels. CONSTRUCTION NEWS