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Ekofisk Field
Oil Rig Photos
No: 1795   Contributor: Alan Keller   Year: 2009   Country: Norway
Ekofisk Field

Picture added on 27 May 2009 at 20:36
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I was employed on the Ekofisk "tank" from Oct 1976 to Jan 79 as an electrician working under my foreman,Joe Higgins. We come from Blackpool, UK although Joe came from Belfast many years before that. We had worked before together and indeed have done so since the Ekofisk days. Joe went to the far east with Brown and Root whilst I finished to have an operation on my two legs.

We met up again on the Morecambe Bay hook ups employed by James Scott, Glasgow.during 1978. I,along with Peter Trembling, pipefitter foreman ,organised a reunion of Brown and Roots,"North Sea Tigers",and it was held at the Imperial hotel in Blackpool. I used to disperse the gold puzzle rings and various items that were handed to me by two lovely electrical engineers from Thailand, Sam Pichawong and Vijit Boonsward. I used to do a good trade with the Norwegians bartering English wool jumpers off Sandbach Market in exchange for fags for my wife. The fags have long gone along with my wife.

In the early years we arrived and departed by supply boat,to be hauled up onto the platform by "Billy Pugh". Rather interesting though in a force 10 gale. It was on one of these occasions that I had smuggled a bottle of whisky in the lining of my "snorkal" hoping it wouldnt fall out as i was holding onto the "Billy Ppugh" but it was safely delivered to Walt Thomas, Brown and Root's supt. It would have gone down well at night during the card game although he did lose his pants, hat, shirt and snakeskin boots to Joe Higgins,who gave his wife a bit of a fright as they met on Preston railway station as he was wearing them.

Usually it was 18 hours a day for up to ten weeks at a time. Great fantastic money on the "NV" pay system but I still "darned" my socks! I left my "Redring"b oots above a ceiling in case I went back. I bet they are smelling by now!

Added by Colin Macleod on 15 July 2009.
Wow. I was really glad to find this website!!! I worked on the Tank starting in 1976 and worked for Walt Thomas. My name is Roland "Corky" Cantu from San Antonio Texas. This really brought back some memories being hauled off the supply boats in a gale force wind and dropped on a handrail on top. I was also on the Morecambe Bay program in Barrow-in-Furness. I sure recognize the names in this article. Not too many North Sea Tigers around anymore.

Added by Roland Cantu on 06 August 2010.
I worked for Brown & Root in the seventies, anyone remember Bo Cook, Jim Gammy, Larry Bordaux - all were subt.s

Added by I CHAMBERLAIN on 05 June 2012.
Hi. It is a long time ago. all the money has gone and I've got white hair. i'm an old man but I do remember working the long hours on the "NDV". It's all changed since I worked for Brown and Root in the 70s. Up and down those stairwells all day long with a damn hernia that was only operated on 3 years ago, such was my greed for money. I had meant to contact Roland Cantu and forward brochures of the "tank", etc, but some nice person has "borrowed" them. I still visit Joe Higgins, electrician, who was a foreman out there. When I inform young men that we used to work an 18 hour shift, 7 days/nights for up to 10 weeks at a time, they don't believe me. As Roland Cantu said, there aren't many North Sea Tigers left now.

Added by Colin Macleod on 10 June 2012.
I knew Joe Higgins senior as a contract manager for James Scott and trained with his son Joe junior. Good times

Added by Dave Wilson on 19 February 2013.
JOE Higgins has been in a home for dementia for around 3 years now. I visit him at various times but he spends a lot of his time asleep. It's a shame how life treats ones who have grafted all their life. He helped many electricians around Blackpool to obtain employment when they were out of work, and they owe a lot to him. Whenever Joe was in charge, we worked long hours to enable us to get good money to feed our families. For those reading this and maybe visit him, he is residing now at, The Manse Nursing Home, Kirkham, between Blackpool and Preston.

Added by Colin Macleod. on 25 February 2017.
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