An oil-production facility offshore Angola, featuring one the tallest man-made structures in the world has started producing oil. It's one of the world's largest structures and its helping Angola maintain its position as Africa's biggest crude oil producer.
The Tombua Landana tower in Angolan waters is an incredible 474 m high (1554 ft). That makes it more than a third higher than the Eiffel tower and almost as high as the Taipei Financial Center in Taiwan, one of the tallest skycrapers in the world. The oil rig is located 80 km (48 miles) from the Angolan coast in approximately 366m (1200 ft) of water.
Chevron's $3.8 billion development, which is designed to allow zero discarge of produced water and zero routine gas flaring, is expected to reach peak production of 100,000 barrels of oil per day by 2011.
The tower is fixed to the seabed but has been designed to flexible to resist the forces of water; to be flexible with the forces of water around it. Designers state that it is like the old analogy of the oak tree and the willow in a storm, where the oak tree snaps with the force of the wind, but the willow tree bends.
The 35,000 ton Tombua Landana platform is composed of a large integrated deck with production facilities and a 120 - person accommodation building supported by a 56,400 ton piled tower. The main tower is secured to the seafloor by twelve foundation piles and will provide access to 38 well slots on the seabed floor. (Adapted from Sonangol Universo Magazine 2010)