The Netherlands: Mercon Signs Contract with Shell and NAM for Riser Access Towers


Mercon Steel Structures B.V. has signed a framework agreement with Shell U.K. Limited and the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. (NAM) for the construction and installation of Riser Access Towers (RAT).

The framework agreement encompasses the call off of one and possibly up to nine RAT’s. These monopile platforms will be used in combination with subsea trees and existing production platforms to develop Shell and NAM’s smaller gas fields on the UKCS and Dutch part of the North Sea.

Mr Luuk Wellens, Shell’s Head of Projects for offshore projects in the Southern North Sea, explains: “Shell UK and NAM’s idea behind the so called SWEEP project is not to develop each gas field individually, but to develop multiple small accumulations with a single RAT.

Moreover by using one design repeatedly, these smaller fields can be exploited in an economically viable way. It will help us to unlock ever smaller gas fields.”

Mercon’s Managing Director, Mr Willem Griffioen, is particularly proud of the innovative installation method which they developed themselves together with ALE Heavylift.

“This new installation method is considerably cheaper than more traditional methods. Meanwhile, we have applied for a patent on this smart way of installation.’’

Luuk Wellens adds “Besides the convenient installation, the tower can be decommissioned very easily as well and thus used again for new wells”.

Construction of the first RAT is expected to start in Q1 2011, whereas installation is planned for the end of 2011.

Source:Mercon, October  21, 2010;

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