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Oil rig is new star of Sheerness docks on Sheppey

The Isle of Sheppey has a new tourist attraction.

A giant floating jack-up drilling rig has been getting a steady stream of curious visitors since it was towed into Sheerness docks on Saturday.

New addition to the Sheppey skyline

Prospector 1 jack-up rig which was towed into Sheerness docks on Saturday. Picture: John Nurden
Prospector 1 jack-up rig which was towed into Sheerness docks on Saturday. Picture: John Nurden

Prospector 1 and its three 547-feet towers can be seen from miles away during the day. At night it is lit up like a Christmas tree.

On Sunday, families could be seen walking along the promenade at Sheerness to a get close-up view of the mammoth machine.

It is expected to stay for the next six months while its owner Borr Drilling tries to find new work for it. It will be joined in August by its sister Prospector 5 which is also being laid-up.

Both of the Friede and Goldman JU2000E-type rigs were built in 2013 in China and valued at £123 million each.

They have been used in the North Sea in the search of oil and gas. They can operate in 400 feet of water during all kinds of weather and can drill to a depth of 35,000 feet.

Prospector 1 jack-up rig which was towed into Sheerness docks on Saturday. Picture: John Nurden
Prospector 1 jack-up rig which was towed into Sheerness docks on Saturday. Picture: John Nurden

The self-elevating platform towers over Sheerness and boasts three cranes, six engines, a helicopter landing deckand accommodation for more than 140 workers.

Sales brochure picture of the Friede and Goldman jack-up oil rig now in Sheerness
Sales brochure picture of the Friede and Goldman jack-up oil rig now in Sheerness
The Friede and Goldman jack-up oil rig being towed to Sheerness
The Friede and Goldman jack-up oil rig being towed to Sheerness

Read more: Latest news from the Isle of Sheppey here

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