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Ocean Alliance
Oil Rig Photos
No: 312   Contributor: Andrew Dowsett   Companies: Diamond Offshore   Year: 1988
Ocean Alliance

Extensive completion & commisioning work was carried on the Ocean Alliance at the Cromarty Firth Port Authority's Service Base at Invergordon. It was named on August 17th 1988 and completed at a cost of £90 million. In its day it had the largest deckload capacity of any Rig and was able to drill in up to 6000 ft. of water.
Picture added on 02 April 2007
add commentComments:
I was the prefabrication foreman in Lithgows Kingston yard in Port Glasgow at the very start of this project Britoil got a Rolls royce for the cost of a Scoda here i would have thought the x-ray team would have cost £90 million alone many happy memories of her build the rdest bit to fabricate was the anchour bolsters had many sleepless nights getting it right in the end we made a replica of the colums undercover and fitted the tubulars to that just to get the alignment correct.

Added by GRANT ELDER on 26 March 2008.
I served my Apprenticeship on this contract with Scott/Lithgow,turns out this was the last contract.
Taken over by Trafalgar House which had it's monitory benefits but led to a sad end to Ship/Rig building on the lower Clyde.
Changes were being made daily through added safety procedures which ulimately led to this Rig being years overdue!
Not an indicment on the many skilled men who worked thre and many of whom now work for BAE Systems in Govan and Scotstoun.
The lower Clyde's loss has been the gain of BAE and others.
I was a welder and coded to ASME 9 6GR an i had a great grounding on this contract that leaves only good memories.

Added by Jan Groenewald on 14 June 2009.
My one and only go at this type of work was on this rig, it was my first and only go at pipefitting, I spent 3 months there (June-Aug 1988) on a short term contract with Lawrence Allison Agency (I think that was their name) I enjoyed what we were doing but never got another chance to work on this type of job again, happy memories of getting a shot at this type of pipefitting.

Added by Kirk Elwood on 14 July 2010.
Roughnecked on it when it was working for BP and ODECO - with top drive, hydraulic pipe racking, iron roughneck and a sauna it was a step up as far as working conditions go.

Added by Keith Maloney on 03 September 2010.
Worked on the Alliance 1990-1993 as medic/safety. 1st trip out had worst storm for 30yrs, still remember chasing Jack's hard hat round the moonpool area in 30' waves. Still went back. Best bunch of people to work with, some real characters. We had a pool table in the rec room which in rough weather made for interesting matches.

Added by Graham Bullimore on 23 April 2011.
Was involved in the Design of the top sides drill floor and mudrooms moon pool etc.
Good times

Added by Paul Docherty on 13 June 2012.
Great memories for me too. Unfortunately, I have lost touch with some of the key players, John Key, James (Jim) Daniels Don Pope and others. Please feel free to contact me, I am still active and would love to catch up.

Added by Stuart on 10 August 2012.
I worked on this rig 1997-2001 while in the west of Shetland, moving on to the Arctic Circle, worked as a roughneck had some great times.

Added by Paul Banks the Brummie on 07 February 2013.
I've never worked on this rig. But I'm reviewing it right now. The plan is to update some of the alarm and tank gauging system (at Brazil). So sad to see that the original shipyard is defunct and has been shutdown. I believe they have done a very fantastic job. Remember it was 1988 and building a semi-submersible with even topdrives is amazing. I hope this vessel will serve longer.

Added by Westwood Mao on 02 October 2013.
I worked on the night shift in the glen yard fab shop and latterly the building Berth during construction of this rig many a cold winters night spent out on the berth, good times sadly gone.

Added by Raymond woodcock on 14 November 2013.
I was the Ben Odeco Project Team office manager for the Project at Scott Lithgow when Ocean Alliance was being built. It was a fabulous project with great people and my intro to the oil & gas industry. I'm still working in the industry and enjoying all that it has to offer. Would be great to hear from anyone who was involved ...

Added by Janice Henderson (nee Gray) on 07 April 2016.
Had the task of retro jetting all the pipework for the ballast systems deep inside the pontoons, in the late eighties when docked at Scott Lithgows. The lads down below were very helpful, passing our equipment over pipes and under beams etc they weren't paid to help us and had there own jobs to do, so thanks again Glasgow lads both Rangers and Celtic.
I remember the pipework well and especially the actuator valves. The valves had to be fully open to allow the retrojet to travel the full length of the main header pipe. I had already opened the valves using the colour code discs as a guide, seem to remember green open red closed, anyway was jetting until heard a dink about 25m or so in and after several twists and turns just knew the jet wasn't going in any further. Checked all the valves again and sure enough all appeared open according to the upper and lower coloured disks.
Checked again this time looking at the welded arrows making sure they aligned correctly, all were fine until I examined the main header valve at the centre of the pipe. This was the problem, after a lot of head scratching realised this pre assembled valves coloured disks were upside down compared to all the others. Managed to finish jetting full length of pipe then reported my concerns to a Scott Lithgow member of staff.
This fell on deaf ears and was reassured of the automatic actuator valves and that an operative would use the welded arrows as the guide.
I still wasn't convinced, given that its sister rig capsized with a ballast problem and should the actuators fail in the future... what would an operative do in an emergency ? look at the faint welded arrows or the upside down coloured disk. Before I left, reported problem to a very senior Scott Lithgow member of staff who took the matter more seriously and think did something about it.

Loved working there and enjoyed a pint or two in the Darroch or Cowal bar.

Added by Pat Murphy on 29 June 2016.
Hi guys, was a technical programmer, worked in Scott Lithgow from 1980 to 1985. Worked with the NC loft , the design office and the QA guys. Remember a long night sinking the legs then joining the deck on one of the rigs and seeing Iolair launched. Great place to work best job I ever had.

Added by Ray Collinson on 05 August 2016.
Worked on the alliance late ninties for about 4 years as a motorman down in the engine room we traveled a lot from the north sea to arctic circle west of Shetland and Angola met some real good guys but unfortunately one or two bullies however all in all it was a fantastic time in my working life.so good luck to all who worked on her.

Added by Ron Oxberry on 10 August 2016.
Does anyone remember Jim Duncan and Sandy Smith from Scott Lithgow ?

Added by Ray Collinson on 12 August 2016.
Sorry what a plonker should be on the ocean guardian comments. Ocean Alliance was the last rig I worked on.

Added by Ray Collinson on 12 August 2016.
Sorry forgot to ask. Does anyone remember my cousin Robert (Robbie) Collinson from Largs who later moved to Arran. He worked offshore.

Added by Ray Collinson on 12 August 2016.
If anyone still reads this seasons greetings

Added by Ron oxberry on 26 December 2016.
I worked as a diving supervisor on this rig fitting the thrusters to her pontoons and cleaning the below water pontoons before she went for sea trials they were the days

Added by Eddie muldoon on 05 January 2017.
Served my time on this and the IOLER I was an appretice when I i got sent to Kingsston Grant Elder was my Gaffer , , , that picture jogged my memory

Added by Andrew bethel on 04 March 2017.
Does anyone remember Gerry Roth the security officer?

Added by on 08 March 2017.
Worked on this contract 1984 till delivery. Invergordon 1988 former cartsburn riggers dept helped erect drilling derrick at inchgreen repair quay and install rigging related actives brings back happy memories.

Added by George Drysdale son of Tommy Drysdale on 14 March 2017.
Worked on this rig as part of the Quality Assurance Welding Inspection dept with a lot of good guys.

Added by Jim McIntosh on 02 April 2017.
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