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Reflected Rig revisited.

I posted this photo below on Flickr yesterday with the following Description:-

"The Transocean Wildcat cold-stacked in the Cromarty Firth"

Philip Capper and Brandon Rhodes, both asked - quite rightly - what "cold stacked" meant, and Brandon (who has the knack of asking the most insightfull questions) added:-

"You often use what sound like technical terms (“cold-stacked”) when speaking of rigs. Does everyone in a village like yours develop a basic vocabulary with which to discuss the rigs that are constantly in view (and perhaps on which some residents work), or does particular interest or experience on your part lead to your very specific descriptions?"

To which I replied:-

Sorry Guys for using "technical" terms without explaining - when oil drilling rigs are not active, and being stored awaiting a contract they are "stacked". If they are kept in full working order, ie ready to be towed to a drilling location at perhaps a few days or a weeks warning they are "ready" stacked (or hot stacked).

If they are basically moth-balled, and all the equipment is shut down and only manned with a skeleton crew - they are "cold stacked".

If you are interested in the full terminology, look here for a list of rigs and their status. This particular rig has been stored in the Cromarty Firth for a few years now, and as it has not been hired by any oil company - as the oil price is so high demand for rigs is at very hot - that suggests that it requires significant investment to get it back to full working order.

Interesting point Brandon about terminology. I do not work in the oil industry but have an interest in matters marine, and mechanical, and an obvious interest in photographing such structures. Excepting those who work directly with and on rigs, most folk about I would talk to about the oil industry locally - (fishermen, ferrymen, fellow office workers etc) would be familiar with such terminology, in the same way that I suspect that the workings of a blast furnace would be more commonly understood in a steel town, than a say a lumber town, or one with a biomedical industry.

Remember I also post these images to the oil well pool, where people are active in the oil industry.

One final point - and perhaps a pedantic one (grin) but Cromarty - where I live - is a town not a village. I'll agree it's a very small town - only 600 souls in the town and 800 in the Parish, but has been a town for 1000 years, and a burgh for the past 800. In fact I can trace one branch of my family tree directly back to a John Urquhart who left Cromarty in 1410 to buy a farm in Orkney, when Cromarty was the second biggest town in the Highlands after Inverness.

Inverness is now a thousand times bigger than Cromarty.....

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