A massive oil rig is now on its way to the west coast of Scotland after a dry dock won its first major contract since refurbishment.
The Ocean GreatWhiterig – owned by drilling contractor Diamond Offshore – has been travelling from Singapore to Kishorn Port in the north west Highlands over the last five months.
The 60,800 tonnes structure – which is due to start work on a North Sea field early next year – needs deep water for anchoring and Loch Kishorn provides the ideal sheltered conditions.
During its stay at the yard, the rig will be made ready for its drilling program with Ferguson Transport and Shipping, providing marine agency and stevedoring support.
“You can’t fail to be impressed by the sheer scale of the Ocean GreatWhite,” says Alasdair Ferguson, a director of Kishorn Port who recently visited the rig when it docked at Las Palmas.
“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.”
Kishorn Port is a joint venture between and Leiths (Scotland) and Ferguson Transport and Shipping.
It was created in 2008 to promote the regeneration of the Kishorn Yard and dry dock as a major facility for the manufacturing of renewable energy components, decommissioning and support to the North Sea oil and gas sector.
The yard and the dry dock were very active in the early years of the North Sea oil and gas boom, employing more than 3,000 people and generating a huge contribution to the local Highlands economy.
Howard Doris, the yard operators, fell into insolvency in 1988 and the yard lay dormant until 1992, when the dry dock was resurrected to enable the casting of the two 2,500 tonne concrete caissons that support the Skye Bridge.
The yard also worked on the Ninian Central oil production platform in the 1970s.
At just over 600,000 tonnes the platform was the largest concrete structure that had ever moved across the earth.