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Nigg Rigs & Wind Farm Jackets

Today’s short video (a mere 53 seconds long) is footage shot on the shores of the Cromarty Firth, south of Nigg at end April 2022. I was out with my good friends the Wilsons on a cloudy, wet day in Cromarty Village*, eastern Scotland. We braved the elements to get this footage but the camera wobbles and glitches are all mine - we didn’t have sufficient enthusiasm to set up tripods for better footage as we were getting soaked. My favourite Scottish word is “driek” – voted the nation’s favourite Scots word in recent polls – meaning grey, damp, cold, miserable and, in our case, raining.

The footage starts by panning across Nigg Bay into the gloom with numerous stacked semisubmersible and jack-up rigs, before focusing on the cold-stacked Transocean Leader, a workhorse harsh environment semi-sub which drilled many wells west of the Shetland Islands and in the North Sea over the decades. The rig is now 35 years old and IHS Markit see it competing for work with more modern fifth & sixth generation rigs. These rigs, collectively costing many billions of pounds/dollars to build, are a sad legacy of the inefficiencies of the oil & gas sector which keeps them busy during upturns but wastefully scraps rigs and platforms during downturns.

Panning around further, we see the EnQuest Producer, an FPSO which was deployed on the Alma field in the Central North Sea. This vessel has not been the luckiest with under-performing Alma ( oilfield duty and an unmitigated poor record at Derwent/Dauntless-featured in our YouTube video –

As a testament to the changing times, panning around further right, we come to the tall steel jackets which will be base for huge wind turbines for the massive offshore Seagreen wind farm operated by SSE & TotalEnergies. Finally we pan out to the North Sea, where all this infrastructure has been and will be deployed to bring vital energy supplies to the UK. We wish all vessels and crews best wishes for the future.

* Cromarty Village was the home of pioneering geologist Hugh Miller and is a quaint and remote village.


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