A GIANT of the sea is expected to make an appearance on the west coast this week – when Kishorn dry dock welcomes a massive oil rig for the first time in decades.
When the Ninian Central oil production platform was towed out of Loch Kishorn in May 1978, at just over 600,000 tonnes it was the largest concrete structure that had ever moved across the face of the earth.
And now, more than 40 years later, another giant of the oil and gas industry will be coming to Kishorn Port in the first week of January.
Kishorn Port (KPL) will welcome the largest semi-submersible offshore drilling rig in the world, the Ocean GreatWhite, after winning a contract to get it ready for operations in the North Sea.
Owned by Diamond Offshore, a global offshore drilling contractor, the Ocean GreatWhite weighs in at 60,800 tonnes and is capable of drilling down to 10km in 3km of water. With a draft of more than 23m, the rig needs deep water for anchoring and Loch Kishorn provides ideal conditions. It has been making its way from Singapore via the Canary Islands over the last five months.
Alasdair Ferguson, a director of KPL, said: “We hope that the berthing and support to the rig at Kishorn will herald a new era of engagement in the oil and gas industry at Kishorn.”
The yard has sprung back into life in recent months after years sitting idle. It employed more than 3000 people in the early years of the North Sea oil and gas boom but became insolvent in 1988 and, apart from a key role in the construction of the Skye Bridge in the 90s, it has sat idle since.
Source: North Star
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