The main development in Kazakhstan’s Kashagan field is D Island, a structure built on recovered land. It typically has an output of 340,000 barrels per day.
Ersai turned to flare tip replacement experts, Conbit. The company provides lifting solutions tailored for extremes of height or reach. Conbit’s plan was tested and certified before the shutdown, giving peace of mind that maintenance would be on time as scheduled. At 10,000kg, D Island’s high-pressure flare tip set a world record for the largest ever replaced.
Conbit’s scope was to replace the facility’s high-pressure and low-pressure flare tips. They also need to install a new ignition cable. Prior to the start of the project, Conbit’s engineering team determined that a mechanical handling method was suitable, as the flare tip access platform had sufficient strong points to carry both the lifting system and flare tips.
Before the shutdown, Conbit established the laydown area adjacent to the flare stack. They also prepared the winches for service and installed and powered the lifting equipment and luffing. After preparing the surface of the flare tip access platform, they lifted the components, then constructed, secured, and connected them together.
The team used the flare booms to build the gantry structure that will be used for the main lifts. They first assembled its top beam and then raised it in stages, inserting leg pieces in turn. The gantry was connected to a base structure, hoisted upright, and joined by a strut structure with luffing line. Then they added a spreader bar before testing the lifting system load.
Conbit replaced the 10 ft high-pressure flare tip by tensioning the lift line and disconnecting the flare tip from the riser. They released the luffing line then moved the tip a maximum of 5250 mm over the platform’s edge. It was then lowered to the laydown area by releasing the lift line. This process was repeated for the low-pressure flare tip and took six hours in each case.