The first all-British oil rig moved into position near the Piper Field in the North Sea on Friday (7 November).
AERIAL VIEW OIL rig at sea
GV Sea-floor drill guide
SV PAN Rig moving through waves
SV Rig skipper and seaman at control on bridge
GTV Men at work on rig
SV & GV Engineers working (3 shots)
CU Conoco flag
SV & GV Drilling tower and flags
AERIAL VIEW Rig in motion
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Background: The first all-British oil rig moved into position near the Piper Field in the North Sea on Friday (7 November).
The self-propelled rig -- the first owned and crewed only by British concerns -- represents an 18 million pound (37.8 million U.S. dollar) investment ... and began work only four days after the first British oil from the North Sea fields was piped ashore in Scotland.
On lease to the Conoco oil company for the next two years, the rig -- named "Dundee Kingsnorth" -- began drilling at a sea depth of 338 feet (102.7 metres) on a wildcat well close to the commercially valuable Piper Field.
The rig has been specially designed to cope with the notoriously stormy weather of the North Sea, and has been tested to work at depths of up to 1,000 feet (304 metres) and remain seaworthy in waves of up to one hundred feet (30.4 metres).
One advantage the "Dundee Kingsnorth" has over other rigs in the area is its self-propelling mechanisms. This allows the rig to be fully manoeuvrable, and, in fact, to move faster under its own steam than if towed into position by tugs.
Another breakthrough for oilmen was the successful agreement over which trades union should represent the crew. With that issue settled, the company which owns "Dundee Kingsnorth" hopes to have its second rig operational next year.