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Oil Rig Photos

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Amoco Montrose Alpha
Oil Rig Photos
No: 1859   Contributor: John   Companies: BP   Year: 1981   Country: United Kingdom
Amoco Montrose Alpha

The only rig in this field (about 120 miles due east of Aberdeen and in sight of BP Forties) this picture was taken in 1981 from a Zodiac dingy (used for the excellent fishing under the flare).

The rig had no pipeline (though I think that changed and they tapped in to the Forties line) so oil was discharged to either the MV Lord Mount Stephen or the MV Lord Strathcona (Canadian Pacific sister-ships of about 70k tons) 1 mile away via a pipeline and an SBM (single buoy mooring). Loading took two weeks if the weather was good and oil was then discharged around the UK - Humber, Milford Haven, Tilbury etc.

Amoco are now owned by BP.
Picture added on 30 July 2009 at 12:26
add commentComments:
My workplace!

Yeah, the Montrose now exports oil to the Forties Pipeline System, which arrives onshore at Cruden Bay. Gas is exported to the CATS system.

The Montrose and its nearby sister, the Arbroath platform, are owned by Talisman Energy.

Added by Anon on 10 February 2011.
And boy was it a fun place to work in the 80/90's.
Much better than NWH.

Added by Jazza on 11 March 2011.
Worked on the Montrose from 79 through to 81 for Bawden Drilling. Ken Screech was one of the OIM's, mad fisherman, always down on the spider deck with the reel attached to the handrail. Can't remember how many times we lost the jibs on the old Link Belt Cranes.

Added by Pete Odonnell on 02 August 2011.
I'm another old hand from Bawden Drilling - roustabout & then roughneck from early 1978 to early 1979. Driller was Drew Lyle (I think) and we had a damn fine crew on the drillfloor: Ray 'Cowboy' Winslow, me, Peter Smith from Aussie and Nolan Bunyard from Namibia/SA. Some other crew I remember Stuart Barber, Budgie Grills, Jim Munro, Jim 'Sneaky' Sneddon, Dave Mulherron. It's all dim & distant past but the photos bring back some good memories.

Added by Stewart MacGibbon on 08 August 2011.
Worked on Montrose Alpha about the same time 1979 through 1981, spent approx 22 months on two on one off with Duffy McGovern Great Yarmouth. I remember Ken Screech, Pete Broxup, Ray, Wally, scaffolders..Ty Ling Painter, G.Duncan welder.

Added by Jeff Beattie on 20 November 2011.
Our Driller was Gordon Houlton he is still working offshore for Nobles I believe. Hertzel Mazel was the roustabout pusher. Steve McKelvie was operating cranes. Long time ago so the memory has faded a bit, but I remember a lot of those names on Drew's crew.

Added by Peter O'Donnell on 28 November 2011.
Hi Derry Power here, old hand from Bawden on the Piper and Claymore late 70 early 80s

Added by Derry Power on 16 March 2012.
I worked on the hook-up right from the beginning. I commisioned the accomodation. (red earth wires - yuk!) I installed the helideck lighting on the wooden helideck and assisted with the commisioning of the Solar turbines. I was there for 14 months. I remember Ken Screech - I was there on his first day. One of my more memorable offshore jobs.

Added by Stuart Cuninghame on 11 October 2012.
hi derry power here anyone remember sam croft worked on montrose late 70 and the moved to claymore early 80s

Added by Derry Power on 05 November 2012.
Another 'old hand' here..
Employed by Amoco as an instrument technician from 1979 - 1987.Transferred to NWH around 1984

What great memories, I remember Bill Dalas, Ken Screech and many many more.. happy memories..

My eldest son Greig Allan is on NWH also an instrument Tech.



Added by Jim Allan on 26 October 2013.
I worked on the hook up and can remember the first time the mudpumps were started.I roughnecked on nearly all 24 wells and also did some derrick work. I remember the hot summer of 76. My driller for most of the time was a Canadian, George Winslow. After him was John Buckland, from New Zealand. On our crew was Doddy Weir from Aberdeen and Jim Sneddon was derrickman.

Added by Dave Leaper on 04 January 2014.
I used to work in Claymore I was one of the few Chilean there from 80 to 90, Remember Jim Sword, Dereck Colins RIP, Murray King Ossie, Graham Benton Kiwie, Dario Palma, Kenny Higgis RIP, Pete West Crane op, Norman Smith T pusher canadian, etc


Added by Nano Fernandez on 15 January 2014.
I remember Sam Croft and his brother Harry, he started as a driller on the Claymore and was promoted to toolpusher.Vic Richmond was the Supt along with Barry Beatson , Owen Penwarden and sadly Les Morris who was killed on the Piper Alpha

Added by Stevie Gibson on 07 February 2014.
I was on Montrose in the early days and Owen Penwarden was my toolpusher. A great guy, learnt loads from him.

Added by David Leaper on 04 February 2015.
Owen penwarden was a gent

Added by Derry Power on 11 February 2015.
Fond memories of a lot of those names, sadly a few were lost on Piper, never forgotten. Small place the oilpatch I am currently working for ConocoPhillips in Australia and ran into Keith (Bracket) Marsh old Claymore and Piper hand. Still out there drilling for Maersk.

Added by Pete O'Donnell on 17 February 2015.
Hi Pete, Derry Power here. How was bracket. Love to talk with him my email powerhouse.ext@gmail.com

Added by Derry Power on 03 March 2015.
Worked with Sclumberger wireline/logging as crew chief on alpha from 77 until 80. Remember a lot of the names from those days showing up here. I moved to Shetland with Sclumberger in 80 and worked a lot of platforms but could not beat the 3 years steady on alpha. More like family than any other place. Shell platforms were the most dangerous and terrible management I ever worked on. Moved to States in 86.

Added by Dave Millar on 18 April 2015.
Is the Montrose still in operation?

Added by Janine on 20 April 2015.
I worked on the Montrose in 1988, as a roughneck. At that time it had a wooden helideck held up by wooden beams. A drilling rig that had a chain drive from the drawworks to turn the rotary table, and a derrick with a jacking board and drop down fingers, and free swinging blocks. Truly a blast from the past. However, it was a great place to work, with a friendly atmosphere. I spent the whole time just pulling and running production strings with submersible pumps. The hole was kept full of seawater, so it was great to complete a shift and not end up covered in mud. I believe that the drilling rig was built in 1965 and used elsewhere before ending up on the Montrose. As was the accommodation module.

Added by Robert West on 22 December 2015.
The Montrose accomodation was brand new when it arrived - It was made in America somewhere. I had the job of commissioning the electrics - much to my dismay. I found that all the earth wires in the lighting and power cables were red! The helideck was indeed made of wood and fitted together like slices of cake. I had the unenviable job of installing the helideck lights - in the winter! The mud pumps and rotary table - instead of having their own power supply - ran off the platforms generators. Every time the mud pumps started up - the lights used to go dim......


Added by Stuart Cuninghame on 04 January 2016.
anyone meet up withh croft lately?

Added by Derry Power on 06 January 2016.
If you notice on the photos - the doors on the seaward side of the accomodation going nowhere - If you went through these doors you were rewarded by a 100ft drop into the North sea! That's because the accomodation module was positioned 180 degrees from its planned resting place. Those doors should have faced the drilling deck. Needless to say - we had to weld the doors shut.......


Added by Stuart Cuninghame on 08 January 2016.
Wow this is fantastic! I worked on the Montrose from the middle of 1976 through to Christmas 1977...Some familar names from other commenters above: Hertzel Mazel - one of the toughest guys I ever met; Jim "Sneaky" Snedden: no-one has mentioned John "Big Yin" Murray... dead of the drink now I suspect...Likewise Hans "Shakey" Petersen...

A couple of guys have mentioned Owen Penwarden..he got me my start as a roustabout (all I had been able to land as a young hand with no experience was a catering job. He broke the "no poaching" rule and hired me) Is Owen still alive? He must be getting on now..
Dennis Burdek was my driller...Great guy..very smart; really cared for the welfare of his men..when we were performing stupid feats of bravado he would often chain the brake down and come and give us a lecture "You've only got one back Kiwi; they make this iron every day"

My time on the Montrose began a love of and fascination for the oilfield which has lasted 40 years...although I last worked on a rig in 1984.

Added by David Garrett on 07 September 2016.
This is great! All those familiar names from a wonderful time in my life. I worked on Montrose from June of 1976 to Christmas 1977..roustabout under Jim "Sneaky" Snedden, and then as roughneck and later lead floorman under a Canadian driller, Dennis Burdek - a very smart guy who had the welfare of his men uppermost.

I can remember doing silly macho things (I was 19 at the time) with the slips and anything else heavy - which meant just about everything on Rig 36 - and Dennis chaining the brake down and giving us a lecture: You only have one back Kiwi...they make that old iron every day. Gave us an excuse not to be stupid.

Toolpushers I recall are Bill McLeod - who will be dead now - Everett Hicks, Trevor McCarthy from Australia... Does anyone know what became of John "big yin" Murray from Kilmarnock? Trevor Grylls who, incredibly, had been a butler! Someone mentioned Hertzel Mazel - probably the toughest man I ever ran across in the oilfield... Great memories, and a great pic of the Montrose...something to show my son.

Added by David Garrett on 08 September 2016.
Wow! All those names . I started on Piper Alpha in 1984 when I was 18 with Bawden Drilling and recognise a lot of these names Truly great memories. I have some photos of the Bawden boys including us roughnecking on Rig 46 /34 on Piper in nothing but lingerie! They were fun times and I prefer to remember the laughs rather than the pain. Campbell Baz Barrie, AD. Brian Whibsy derrick man Dean Naylor Driller After Piper I went oil trading in London for a hedge fund still doing it 30 years later.

Added by Jerry Parr on 23 January 2017.
Hi Derry Power here. Does anyone knew harry croft sadly passed away a few months back in Aberdeen royal infirmary.

Added by Derry Power on 24 January 2017.
Worked there for 4 years in the 70s and yes I remember John Murray ex cop. Hertzel was a tough one shaky the shaker hand and Jim Sneddon was the Roustabout Pusher. I was Crane Operator. So many names I can't remember but the faces I will never forget. It would be great to hear from some of the ones who are still around.

Added by Ian Wood on 09 February 2017.
Good picture on one of the calmer days.

Added by Ian Wood on 10 February 2017.
Owen is alive and well in New Zealand enjoying his retirement.

Added by Scott Penwarden on 31 December 2017.
You remember egg box 6 forties bravo Derry sad day for all

Added by Gordon Mitchell on 31 May 2018.
Is Dennis burdek still in Scotland I worked with him in Madagascar and on the Beatrice alpha regards Chris hornsby now in Devon

Added by CHRIS hornsby on 11 August 2018.
Yes still in Scotland, but spend 5 months of winter in Phoenix. Great to see so many people I worked with. I will certainly stay in touch.

Added by Dennis Burdek on 24 August 2018.
Still in Scotland, but retired in 2006. Winter in Arizona. Great to hear from old crew members.

Added by Dennis Burdek on 26 August 2018.
Hi ALL, Wow what a blast from the past I remember a lot of you guys I worked on the Montrose and Arbroath for many years from the early 70s Ken Screech, Bill Dallas, Jim Allen, and so many more

Added by David Taylor (Production Op) on 07 September 2018.
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