Cromarty Archive

Almost the last rig leaving the Firth

Almost the last rig leaving the Firth

Date Added: 15 November 2006 Contributor: Calum Davidson Year: 2006 Picture No: 1785

A rig that has been cold-stacked off Invergordon for years being towed from the Firth. It's quite strange seeming a rig that is not lit up like a Christmas Tree moving through the Sutors.

Anyone know which rig this is, and where she is off too?

Albums: Oil Industry


This is the Frontier Driller, ex KNV, ex Transocean Explorer being towed by Fairmount Glacier to Pascagoula in the Gulf of Mexico. Comment left on 16 November 2006 at 00:59 by Ron Stewart
Thanks Ron - I would assume there is significant mobilisation work required to get her up to scratch. Am I right in thinking there is just one rig left in the Firth, down near Alness? Comment left on 16 November 2006 at 09:25 by Calum Davidson
I just took a walk along the beach, and saw that I was confusing the above rig - the Frontier Driller - with the Transocean Wildcat, which is still parked at Balblair. The Frontier Driller was further down the Firth, nearer Alness, which is why I guess I did not recognise her. Comment left on 16 November 2006 at 12:18 by Calum Davidson
The Frontier Driller had been made fit only for the Atlantic tow, I would think a major overhaul will be required before any drilling work could be undertaken.

[Editor's Note: Thanks Ron, this is the 3000th comment on this site!]
Comment left on 16 November 2006 at 12:37 by Ron Stewart
Yes Ron your quite right, I spent the last 11 weeks preparing the Driller for the tow. and indeed it will be a major overhaul. The yanks are planning to spend a further £65m stripping the derrick, rig floor, accomodation and main deck off leaving just the box girder and sub structure remaining and rebuild it all which they reckon they're going to manage in six months. On the £108m they paid for the former explorer, but that's assuming they make it across the Atlantic. I have my doubts. Comment left on 03 December 2006 at 17:21 by David Douglas
This is the Frontier driller. This rig is about to undergo a complete re-vamp and refurbishment. It was previously called the Transocean Explorer and was bought by Frontier Drilling recently. It will eventually start operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The rig will have to undergo serious changes before it is ready. Comment left on 20 December 2006 at 23:26 by Anon
This was the first ever rig I worked on, back in 1989 it was called the Kingsnorth Explorer back then Comment left on 03 February 2008 at 19:35 by Jamie Harding
Any of you gents who want a bit of this history in the shape/ size of the original Transocean model of Explorer can find it here..

I’m seeling it on behalf of the comapny who now own the model(not the reaL THING…)


Comment left on 17 January 2015 at 20:17 by Hamish
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