Port of Cromarty Firth welcomes 750th rig visit

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 4/5/2024, Location: Europe

The Port of Cromarty Firth’s (PoCF) long association with the international energy industry has reached a new milestone with the 750th oil rig visit to the deep, sheltered waters of the North Sea inlet in the Scottish Highlands.

Well-Safe Solutions’ vessel, the Well-Safe Defender is undergoing scheduled maintenance and repair works in the firth following a successful well decommissioning project.

The Cromarty Firth has been a leading location for inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) work on semi-submersible and jack-up rigs since the early years of the North Sea oil boom in the 1970s. The latest milestone comes in year when the PoCF is marking the 50th anniversary of its establishment as a Trust Port.

PoCF Chief Executive, Bob Buskie, said: “The firth has long been recognised throughout Europe and further afield as key location for IRM project as this 750th rig visit to the area underlines.

“Half a century on from our establishment as a Trust Port, we are proud of the part we have played and continue to play in supporting North Sea energy industries and encouraging economic activity in the area.

“People and companies in the supply chain around the firth also have every reason to be proud. The engineering skills local workers have are world-class and the firms operating here have provided a hub of activity creating employment opportunities and benefiting the Highland economy.

“We are delighted to welcome the Well-Safe Defender to the firth as we achieve this remarkable milestone.”

The Port’s key role in the industry stretches back to February 1978, when the first drilling rig, the Transworld 78, arrived in the firth.

The Transworld 58, which spent 33 days there in the same year, is believed to have produced the North Sea’s first oil. Later renamed the North Sea Pioneer, the rig returned to the firth to undergo further IRM projects in 1984 and 1988.

Neil Ferguson, Operations Director at Well-Safe Solutions, said: “After successful completion of a 15-well decommissioning campaign in the North Sea, the Well-Safe Defender returned to the Port of Cromarty Firth in March 2024.

“We’re thrilled to be the 750th vessel to use the port in the 50th year of it being a Trust Port. Preparation is key to any project of this scale, and we’re thankful for the collaboration and support of the PoCF team throughout the rig’s stay.

“Well-Safe Solutions is now underway with regularly scheduled maintenance and repair works ahead of our next well decommissioning campaign, using the excellent facilities at the port.”

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