Retaining Walls Engineered for Oil Drilling Operations Retaining Walls Engineered for Oil Drilling Operations Retaining Walls Engineered for Oil Drilling OperationsMolisht is an underground resource-rich area in Berat, Albania. Numerous important oil and gas wells are found there. For an energy plant, Maccaferri engineered retaining wall solutions to support the site’s oil drilling works.
The Molisht-1 well has the potential to produce 8,000 – 10,000 barrels of oil per day. It is considered a crucial supply point for the owner. Over a 9-month period, the company planned to develop the drill to a depth of 5,500 m to optimize the site’s capacity.
The volume and weight of equipment necessary to support the oil drilling work required significant care. A geosynthetic reinforced wall system allowed the client to minimize land disturbance, support the heavy equipment and truck traffic, and provide long-term seismic support.


The construction works required significant pieces of heavy machinery, for the pad and the roadway in. The time available to perform the construction was limited. Considering the large surcharge loads of machinery, the seismic activity in the Molisht area, the effect of drilling machines, and the narrow construction window, soil reinforcement was suggested by Maccaferri Balkans to AlbStar, the construction company in charge of the site.
The soil slopes would be reinforced with GreenTerramesh® in conjunction with the geogrid Paralink® 300. This solution enabled steeper slopes and support greater loads. It would also deflect less than unreinforced soil slopes.
The reinforced slope was designed to be 13m high and had a length of 174m on two fascias. The total geosynthetic materials used were 1,500 m2 of Green Terramesh® and 6,000 m2 of Paralink® 300.
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The well site was completed within two months. In the months that followed, the Maccaferri Green Terramesh® system re-vegetated, as the system is designed to do. This gave the wall a green, more natural, which was appreciated by the energy client and the community.
A reinforced soil structure has disguised itself in the mountains of Molisht.


Green Terramesh® is an environmentally friendly modular system used to form vegetated (green) faced reinforced soil slopes (mechanically stabilized earth [MSE]) and embankments. It has been used globally in significant infrastructure projects. For taller slopes and structures, it can also be used in conjunction with high-performance primary geogrids like ParaLink®, ParaGrid® and MacGrid® WG.
The Green Terramesh® system consists of pre-fabricated units of double twisted wire mesh (8×10 type) lined with an erosion control blanket and stiffened with a welded mesh panel. Two pre-formed steel braces are supplied to be connected at the job site to maintain the unit to the required slope angle.
The angled front face and the erosion control blanket are designed to facilitate the establishment of natural vegetation of the units—an important requirement of Green Terramesh®.
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