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Frontier Driller
Oil Rig Photos
No: 143   Contributor: Calum Davidson   Companies: Transocean   Year: 2006   Country: United Kingdom
Frontier Driller

This is the Frontier Driller, ex KNV, ex Transocean Explorer being towed out of the Cromarty Firth by Fairmount Glacier to Pascagoula in the Gulf of Mexico.

Many rigs have been stored in the Firth over the last few years - at one time there were 19 - but this is one of the last.
Picture added on 16 November 2006
add commentComments:
i used to work with this rig at signal int. in pascagoula



Added by Andy Couch on 15 November 2007.
First rig I worked on back in 1989. It was called the Kingsnorth Explorer or KEX for short, used to be the Kingsnorth UK before that, My dad was a toolpusher on it in the mid to late 70s.

Added by Jamie Harding on 03 February 2008.
Kingsnorth explorer and Kingsnorth U.K. were two different rigs, I worked on both.

Added by Anon on 20 October 2008.
I am currently working on the Frontier Driller - they have done wonders with this oil platform.

Added by Charles Emerson on 01 November 2008.
I like the photo of the rig. I worked on this rig in Mississippi. Signal ship yard in 07.

Added by James Smithson on 21 August 2009.
My husband also worked on this rig in Pascagoula Mississippi and is now on it out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Added by Jacquelyn Deese on 24 April 2010.
Does anyone know how the Driller was imported into the US? Via temporary importation???

Added by Paula Mahler on 07 June 2010.
I worked on it in 1996 to 1998 when it was the Transocean Explorer (Tex)- they still had Houlder Marine china in the galley and 1970's curtains. It's changed names again to Noble Driller as Frontier were taken over. I saw her again in May 2011 back in Signal yard.

Added by David Murdoch on 17 November 2011.
I used to work on this rig as control room operator/ mechanic after being transferred from the Dundee Kingsnorth 1975/6 where I was a control room operator. We were out in Tunisia for a year and North Sea names that come to mind - Jim Harding, toolpusher, Mike Newson, mechanic, John Pickles, Bargemaster, Bob Mankin, Sub Sea Eng
Pete Knox, Crane Op.
Working on the Stena Spey as Hydraulics Engineer just now (Jan 2012 )

Added by David Spalding on 11 January 2012.
@ David Spalding

Jim Harding is my Father, he's working over in Saudi now for Saudi Aramco.

Added by Jamie Harding on 29 August 2012.
I started my offshore career on this rig on the 3 Jan 1977 and joined her as a roustabout in Smith's dock in Newcastle, England. She left there and her first well was on the Beryl B field in the North Sea for Mobil.

Added by Pete Spalding on 15 November 2012.
I was 2nd Cook and Baker on The Rig 76-77. Was lucky enough to spend 10 weeks one trip! Towed to South Shields, Smith docks workers on strike! Almost swam ashore for a pint! Served under Captain Pickles a Cornish Man and some colorful dudes from Scotland and England. Holder brothers, Good outfit.

Added by Steve Wemyss on 31 October 2013.
I was The 2nd Cook and Baker on The Kingsnorth U.K. 1976-77. First on The Brent field where we were an accommodation facility.The rig was brand new.Later sailed/ towed to Smith Docks after a supply ship banged one of the her legs!Joined her again in the Beryl field where drilling started and things got noisy!!! Met some good ship mates! Names that I remember! Captain Pickles, Paul Esbenson from North Shields who we shared a cab from Smith Docks to his place, Chief Cook Charlie from Carlisle, Geoff The Chief Cook from Liverpool, Paul from Hull, A crazy Scotsman who swore in between words! Merv Underwood. I do remember that Houlder Brothers were an excellent company to work for...

Added by Steve Wemyss on 04 November 2013.
I built the derrick for this rig.First derrick to be set fully built fromthe shipyard to atop the rig.

Added by Dan Walters;Superintendant Loadmaster Derrick&Equip. on 22 December 2013.
The Dundee Kingsnorth features as an example rig in a UK television show called 'Merry-Go-Round'. The episode was called 'The Fuel Fishers' and it was hosted by Liz Sladen (who played Sarah-Jane Smith in Doctor Who). The episode is a special feature on the BBC release of 'Doctor Who: Terror of the Zygons' and has some excellent footage of the rig in operation from the 1970s. John Pickles, Bargemaster, who someone mentioned in an earlier post, is interviewed and several drilling operators are shown working. Perhaps this May interest some who have posted here before? Worth tracking down if you're interested in more about this rig!

Added by A Mason on 05 August 2014.
Hi, any of you guys remember about an incident on the Kingsnorth UK on 4.11.86, when the elevators failed & the BOP along with 7 joints of marine riser were dropped? Got to write a 'failure analysis'& any inside info would be helpful.

Added by M. Wood on 03 October 2014.
I worked on Dundee Kingsnorth as Chief Mechanic from 1981 to 1983. John Pickles was Marine Superintendant, John Smith was Drilling Supt. Derek Brand and Bill Cooper were Barge Masters, what characters they were. We broke some records on that Hutton Template for Conoco a lot of the work practises on the Drill Floor have been outlawed on safety grounds, quite right too. John Pickles sacked Bill Cooper but the decision was reversed. Bill had a tee shirt made up on the front it said 'I was sacked by John Pickles' and on the back it said, 'but I was re-instated'. Andrew Sculthorp.

Added by Andrew Sculthorp on 17 March 2015.
I worked on the Dundee kingsnorth in 80-82. The first female geologist BP sent offshore and the only woman on the rig (or any of the North Sea rigs at that time)

Added by June gidman on 05 October 2016.
Worked on the DKN from 1979 as a roughneck - left in 1986 as a Driller, many happy memories - retired 5 years ago after working as a consultant drilling supervisor for 10 years - andy sculthorp - I remember you !

Added by Doug Spence on 21 November 2016.
I have a few photos of my time on the KUK/Dundee circa 1981. Can post them on here if you like.


Added by Steven Starr on 03 January 2017.
I recall when the DKN came alongside in Peterhead Harbour, 1980-81 ish. It was the first time I set foot on a floater. Would really like to see any photographs that may be out there of the DKN.

Added by Steve Rae on 13 March 2017.
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