Prospector Offshore Drilling's new jack-up drilling rig, Prospector 1, arrived in the Cromarty Firth, Scotland today, after a two-month journey from its construction shipyard in Dalian, China.
The jack-up features an advanced, fully-automated drilling system and represents an investment of more than US$200 million.
The rigs platform is 231 x 250ft and fully jacked-up its height is almost 775ft.
Prospector I is the first of six rigs Prospector Offshore Drilling has ordered, with an estimated total project cost of approximately £750 million.
Prospector 1 and Prospector 5, which is due to arrive in the North Sea next summer, have both been built in China.
Prospector 1 was built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Offshore Co., while Prospector 5 is being built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co, Ltd.
Prospector 1 has been transported on Dockwise’s heavy lift vessel Talisman. It will be floated off the vessel over the next 2-3 days before being jacked-up in the Cromarty Firth.
It will spend the next four weeks in the deepwater port, while its 140-strong crew continue an intensive training program.
It will then travel to the Central North Sea to start operations for Total E&P UK Ltd.
The rig is capable of operating in up to 400ft water depth and is equipped to drill wells down to 35,000ft in high pressure and high temperature environments.
Darren Sutherland, director of European operations at Prospector Offshore Drilling, said: “The rig represents the next generation of technology for the oil industry. The cyber drilling technology creates significant efficiency and safety benefits for operators. The rig also offers greatly improved safety, working conditions and accommodation for offshore crews.”