Scotland’s Loch Kishorn will once again host an offshore drilling rig, as Kishorn Port Ltd (KPL) secures its first major contract. The loch was last home to the Ninian Central oil production platform – the largest concrete oil structure ever moved across earth –which was towed out of the port in 1978. In late 2018 however, the yard welcomed the mammoth Ocean GreatWhite, a semi-submersible offshore drilling rig.
Owned by drilling contractor Diamond Offshore, the Ocean GreatWhite weighs 60,800 tonnes and is a sixth generation harsh-environment drilling rig capable of drilling to 10,000m in 3,000m of water. And with a draft of over 23 metres, Loch Kishorn provides ideal sheltered conditions for a rig of this size.
The Ocean GreatWhite has been in transit for over five months, travelling from Singapore. While at Loch Kishorn, the rig will be prepared for a program set to start in the North Sea early 2019.
KPL director Alasdair Ferguson visited the rig while it was still in transit, adding in a statement that: “I couldn’t fail to be impressed by the sheer scale of the Ocean GreatWhite. We hope that the berthing and support to the rig will herald a new era of engagement in the oil and gas industry at Kishorn.”
KPL was created in 2008 to restore the Kishorn Yard and dry dock as a major facility for supporting the North Sea oil and gas sector and the manufacturing of renewable energy components. The group secured a comprehensive Masterplan permission in 2013 and has been promoting the Yard for the last 6 years.
Director Simon Russell added: “After many years of working on the Kishorn project, this is a great step towards its future regeneration and the creation of local jobs and opportunities.”