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Magnus Platform
Oil Rig Photos
No: 97   Contributor: Terry Cavner   Companies: BP   Year: 2006   Country: United Kingdom
Magnus Platform

The Magnus Platform is in the northern UK sector of the North Sea, about 100 miles north-east of the Shetland Islands.

At the time of it's construction at Nigg, Scotland, the jacket was the largest (by weight) steel jacket ever built at 40,000 tons.

For many years it was BP's single biggest asset worldwide.
Picture added on 05 November 2006
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BP Magnus Platform
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I worked on Magnus from day 1 till she was floated out of graving dock at Nigg - what an experience it was. Awesome, thanks BP

Added by Paul Cooper / Welder on 19 November 2009.
I think the ship is the Standby Vessel Grampian Freedom or the Fame which belongs to North Star Rescue in Aberdeen.

Added by Jim Thorburn on 05 June 2010.
Standby vessel is the Grampian Clansman, was owned by North Star shipping of Aberdeen now sold on.

Added by Anon on 09 August 2010.
Is Magnus still in production? [Editor's note:last I heard drilling was expected to continue until 2013 - I'd expect production for quite a while yet.]

Added by Neil Vancans on 12 August 2010.
Hi I used to work on Thistle A in Heli admin and was really good friends with Chris Christie who worked in Heli-Admin on Magnus. I have lost Chris's contact details and would really like to get back in touch. If anyone knows of her whereabouts can they let me know. Many Thanks Lesley

Added by Lesley Duncan (nee Jones) on 26 September 2010.
I worked for James Scott for many years. My job entailed providing TL, power generation and power tool and arc welding maintenance and installation systems from day one. Eventually, when the brand new Polycastle entered the field but was still 10 miles away, about a dozen of us were sent across to see what we thought of it!! Dunno why!! So I was virtually its first occupant. I stayed throughout the hookup and a bit longer (about 18 months I think). Went back in mid/late eighties for a year or so. I enjoyed working on this platform. James Scott still had a maintenance crew aboard, they'd been there since the hookup! Good lads all!! Got a couple of good stories about this job!!

Added by Alan Clark (Oilslick) on 24 December 2010.
Hi Alan you may remember my Dad Mike Jones, he was part of the Commissioning team on Magnus then went on to become OME for several years before joining the BP Apprentice Training scheme.

Added by Lesley Duncan on 24 December 2010.
Hello lesley. (I have a twin daughter called lesley) Yes, your dads name is certainly familiar, but i'm afraid my memories going now and I just cant put a face to his name. Despite being an electrician I was always seconded to the main contractor for the hookup phase for plant maintenance so never really came into contact with bp staff other than welding/construction engineers etc. Never really mixed much with staff from my own company either(James Scot)for that matter although I knew all of the lads. Wish I could see a pic of him though. Actually, I think I may have known him after the hookup when I returned for a year so in mid eighties. I would have loved to be able to tell you that we were good mates, but not to be. If you get the chance, see if he can throw me a few mutual aquantances to set my mind working again. I'll start with Brian Whitehead, BP welding engineer and John Simpson, (J Scot super)!! Mick Gilchrist and Bobby Paterson.(BP sparks) These last 2 are rather special in my world. Bill M'Kay, BP electrical supervisor. Damn, I can't even recall who the main contractor was now and I was seconded to them for 18 months. By the way, tell dad I was aboard Magnus the night the big wave hit it. (Midish 80s). Rumour had it that the accelerometer at helideck level shifted 7 feet. I was also aboard the day the Chinook went down. I would have been on it a coupla days later. There were bp guys claiming £1000s for rolex's, expensive cameras and other top of the range clothes and items lost when the thing went down. A good mate of mine working for Scots got £30. Hey, your getting the ramblings of a semi senile old gadgey now!! Tell dad to look me up on Claymore and Murchison hookups. One last question. Ask him if he recalls the night the only diesel winch aboard with a 10 ton subsea well completion load suspended 20 feet above the seabed and with divers in attendance caught fire and the combined efforts of platform sparks, construction engineers and yes, commissioning crew all had a go at it but couldn't get it going again. And then ask him if he can recall how, and by whom, it was resolved. I'll give you a clue. I was got out of bed at 6am, and the winch was running again in 20 mins, although with no safety or control systems in operation. Control console was totally burnt out. BFN, xxx. Sorry about the rambling but I ain,t got the heart to tidy it up. Anyway, dad might recognise me from this lot!!

Added by Alan Clark on 30 December 2010.
I worked for Electrothermal on the Magnus with Rick Battersby, Andy Parnel, Steve Merredith and a few more scallywags - we were involved in the preheating and stressing after the welding had been done. Been trying to get hold of Sandy Duncam from Banchory if anybody knows of where he is.

Added by Ralph Thomas on 25 January 2011.
I worked on magnus in 1986 for a company called Altro Flooring installing non slip flooring in the kitchen and large freezers and remember on one trip part of one of the silencers on the exhaust tower blew showering red hot bits of metal everywhere, great fun. Does anyone remember a chef on board called Angus? I think he came from Skye and a funnier (ha ha) person I have yet to meet.

Added by Andy Collins on 29 January 2011.
Hi, not sure if anyone will remember my Dad Michael Anderson? I believe he was on the commissioning / electrical side of things in the hook up stage. I've seen many photos of his time on the Magnus & he talks fondly of it & indeed his many years offshore.

Added by Neil Anderson on 30 January 2011.
Hello Neil. Show your dad the comments directly above, dated the 24th and 30th December. Just to be sure if its the same lad, ask dad if he refused to cross a picket line at Newcastle airport outward bound for the Claymore in about 1978 and got hauled into the office where him and another guy (me) got the sack. Hell of a story, this!! Also, did his car get squashed by a falling wall at William Press, Wallsend? I think it was a Singer?/Sunbeam? and I seem to recall that it was your grandad's. By the way, if he's the same lad I think he is, I can tell you that he was a very pleasant and popular guy. Trouble is, this site just doesn't seem to be very well known. I have a lot of postings under Claymore, Magnus, Murchison, Brae B and others, and I only found it by a fluke just before xmas.

Added by Alan Clark (Oilslick) on 31 January 2011.
Hi Alan, my Dad was at William Press but he had a Vauxhall Viva at the time & it didn't get crushed! He did not work on the Claymore but mentioned a few names you might remember Pat Swift, Bill Moreland, Bill Irvine & Billy Guttson on the BP pre commissioning team?

Added by Neil Anderson on 01 February 2011.
Well after reading some of the comments above, yes I certainly remember some of the names. Can anybody remember the motor bike that was restored on the platform and then taken round Scotland for the SRSCC? Sadly some of the original crew have passed away but I still keep in contact with a few of the old boys. Luke Lewis is still building up his weight, Peter Stewart is keepng well, Derek Lloyd is also keeping well. Chris Brown is not to good these days but me, I'm still in good shape.

Added by Mike Jones (OME) on 01 February 2011.
I worked on the Magnus a few times, the coldest place on earth, as I remember.

Added by Kevin Henson on 04 February 2011.
I worked on the Magnus as a welder for Grootcon, could have stayed on it forever, good times.

Added by Bankok Dave on 02 April 2011.
Hi I worked on the Magnus on the hook up in 1982 but remember Bill Moreland from the villages field and Billy Irvine from the North West Hutton.

Added by Davymcleod1@googlemail.com on 07 April 2011.
I remember the motorbike that was restored on Magnus around 1986/87 glad to hear it made the trip round Scotland, what make was it? Also remember some mucky weather on December - '86 didn't one of the windows in the canteen get blown in or smashed by what must have been a huge swell?

Added by Andy Collins on 09 April 2011.
^^^^ Nope, the canteen, or mess hall is on level 6! The level 1 accommodation did get washed out that time, plus a lifeboat got smashed up through a davit I heard, few years ago now

Added by Ally on 27 April 2011.
Yes I remember the motor bike, I machined the parts that were unredeemable along with Kevin O'Neil.

Added by George Sherwood on 26 June 2011.
The Magnus has plenty life left in it yet, in fact we just renewed the top of the flare tower and installed new cranes. New DCS next year and Brisco panel replacement. Speculation that we will get tie backs from another field and a recent 4d survey rumours of another field below the existing reservoir. 2050?

Added by Magnus Operations on 29 October 2011.
This was my first place offshore. I worked on the flotel Polycastle during the hook up. One man killed, one fell down 8 floors and was killed, one fell into water was picked up by us and one died in a cabin at Polycastle. I am still offshore working for Statoil at the Statfjord C plattform

Added by Thore Grøsle on 06 November 2011.
I was a Nigg Apprentice during the Magnus build, It was an awesome sight to behold when built. Any other Nigg Apprentice's out there ?

Added by Sandy Urquhart on 20 November 2011.
Pfff.. I've got some good old memories. I started as a roustabout, and worked my way up till derrickman.

Damn it was sometime cold on that platform!. The only place than (for us drilling personal) to get some heat was in the pit/pump room.
I hated the chinook's :-(

Added by Noel Dutchman on 12 December 2011.
I worked on Polycastle back in 81. I remember the night cook baker Angus MacLeod he was from Isle of Skye but lived down in Folkstone Kent. He hated working offshore he was fun to be around made me laugh.

Added by Peter Gardner on 11 March 2012.
The photo is the grampian clansman I was coxswain on her for 8 years 1998 onwards

Added by Raymond Johnston on 07 April 2012.
I worked on Magnus hook up and was one of the first on the Polycastle, working for Grootcon was there for first 23 months, best times for me was when I was moves to the safty support vessle Coltair the food was great and they used to ask us what we would like for tea, Good times..
Have a photo of the ship Coltair taken by a chopper pilot in 30 meter seas I was asleep on it at the time think he was selling copys for two pounds each,
Remember quit a few lads lost their lives on the Magnus but all in all had a good experience and a good load of lads

Added by Laurence Aston-Jones on 30 April 2012.
I'm going onto the Magnus on the 12th of June for my first trip as a roustabout for Odfjell. Been good reading all these stories about her.

Added by Alan Reid on 23 May 2012.
Many great memories of a good platform, worked on her for 8 years know a few of the names in the comments , I remember the motorbike well, think I have photos some where, ex deck crew.

Added by Paul Archibald on 03 September 2012.
My first job in 1980 was as a tech clerk in the structural dept at Matthew Hall, who designed and built the topsides. Amazing that was over 30 years ago now. Well remember the jacket float out and the near disaster with the pile coming free and all the guys in the office thinking that 5 years work had just gone belly up.

Went on to work for Total projects dept on Alwyn North, Dunbar, BSW, St Fergus Phase 3 etc until 1994. Good times.

Added by Richard Seamon on 16 February 2013.
I worked on Magnus in the yards then went out with her for Hook up, First Oil, and quite a while after. I was an Elect Tech with James Scotts, seconded to BP working on Telecomms, my partner in crime was Alan Thompson and we worked with BP Engineer Dave Haynes. Our work shop was the main telecoms room under the hele deck next to the sick bay.
Many old mates names mentioned above, bringing back many, many memories, they were good times, my grand kids love to hear them.
To all who were there I send my Warmest Regards, to those North Sea Tigers still working anywhere out there Keep Safe.

Added by Ian Newton on 08 April 2013.
Followed jacket out from Nigg, on the Balder doing tempory comms for PlesseyEAE during piling. Remember the bad storm pushing us SE and trying to keep microwave system up as long as possible, Have some photos if anyone wants.

Added by Richard Walker on 11 April 2013.
Great to see her completed, many of us instrumental in the build never see the drilling let alone the final build.


Added by Rick Walker on 15 April 2013.
I worked on the Magnus as a welder for Grootcon, can remember first oil and also working night shift in the winter on top of that flare tower. Strange looking at the photograph now, knowing that I was working on the hook-up for nearly two years.

Added by Frank Crockett on 07 June 2013.
Worked on the Magnus topside in Dundee as a welder for Moray Base. It was my first job away from home, great times, great memories.

Added by Kenny Marshall on 08 June 2013.
Hi guys, I am looking for Thomas Buckley. He worked on the Magnus Platform to the best of my knowledge. Might anyone know how I could contact him? THanks, Vinnie - im on vinnieodowd@gmail.com

Added by Vinnie O'Dowd on 09 July 2013.
I used to visit platform in 90's a couple of times!Who is the installation manager now or operational manager, I am not sure if it is the same person or there could be more people in charge of this platform?

Added by Mark on 20 September 2013.
My Dad, Laurie Kelly, is retiring in 10 days time after working on the Magnus for 30years. I'm so proud and thankful of how hard he has worked to give us the good life we have had.

Added by Laura Kelly on 02 November 2013.
Hi all yes happy days, worked with Highlands Fabricators as a welder through the whole contract Oh all those pile guides!!!!
Remember they lost a pile when upending the jacket Had to make a new one in a hurry (loads a cash)

Added by Willie Mackintosh on 15 November 2013.
Hi I was on polycastle magnus, h d a until demob, puttin on wings of dauphin, loved it. Take care all.


Added by Patrick Bradley on 25 April 2014.
My father Eddy Graham and uncle Thommy Ferguson worked on the hookup as painters.my father got me my first trip offshore at the end of the hookup and my uncle got my cousin a start at the same time, we had both just turned eighteen.I also slept on the support ship the Coltair, we were flown over every night on a four seater bell chopper by the crazy pilot. I had some great times and made lots of good friends over the next ten years. Was then sacked and blacklisted after the strikes.

Added by Frank Graham on 22 May 2014.
Worked on here as pipefitter until floated out that was some sight just feet to spare, ended up working in Saudi made lots of friends great days


Added by Peter Sanderson on 13 June 2014.
I was seconded to the Magnus Project late 1979 as A QA engineer visiting all the topsides construction yards. Later based at Peterhead during hook up planning and offshore for hook-up. continued during the early production phase until 1984. Delighted to hear of a lot of familiar names, particularly news from Mike Jones regarding some of the original OIM's

Added by Peter Brown on 02 February 2015.
Was the jacket installed in one piece?

Added by Mike McRitchie on 03 February 2015.
It certainly was, Mike McRitchie. Two of the legs had large flotation chambers so it was bouyant. It was towed out horizontally, legs flooded and it went into a controlled tilt. From memory, a pile came loose and stabbed the sea bed just before the jacket was upright, which almost messed everything up.

Added by Richard Seamon on 06 February 2015.
After the pile slid out and fell onto the sea bed I remember the 9 o clock news headlines, Mighty Magnus still in trouble and the weather worsening. The guys (and girls)in the pipemill at Highlands Fabricators yard where the jacket was made had to make a new one in a hurry.

Added by Willie Mackintosh on 26 February 2015.
I hit a manatowick Crain with a county tractor unit pulling a water Bowser driving up yhrogh the dry dock on the Magnus jacket

Until this day knowone knew the thousands of pounds damage the two kicks from Newcastle had. To repair this we did under the cover of darkness over 4 days a great time great project for two geourdies

Added by Mike Coxon Pipefitter on 10 June 2015.
I was the Captain of the Wimpey Seahorse involved in the float out, and the final positioning on location of the Magnus. Our tow position was at the base of the jacket. The tow wire was attached to a point close to the top of the jacket and fed through a ten ton shear piñ at the base. During are meetings with the Dutch Towmaster it was explained to me that my job was to hold position on location while ballasting took place. It was further explained that while ballasting the jacket would roll 90 degreese, but they could not know which way it would roll. After a period of ballasting it did roll, a magnificent sight, but this was what caused the piles to dislodge. As the ballasting continued to part submerge the jacket it was my job to shear the shear pin, which now put my towage point close to the top adjacent to the other two towage vessels. As we now know Magnus could not settle in the upright position at that time, because one or more of the piles slid out, before ballasting was completed. Hope this throws some light as to what happened.

Added by George Batt on 20 June 2015.
I wonder if anyone can remember Bill Frazer as an electrical technician on Magnus He came from Forties Bravo to there in about and was on shift and I lost track of him over the Years my name is Ray Mears and I worked with Bill on D shift along with Dave Jordan Alan Mackay Bruce Millar our supervisor was Bob Kirk I would like to hear from Bill My name is Ray Mears

Added by Ray Mears on 06 September 2015.
I was the Chief Pilot for British Airways helicopters Chinook fleet during the start of the Magnus commisioning and piloted the first Chinook to land on it. Always reckoned that the Magnus and Heather were the best places to go with a great attitude, unlike the platforms 20 miles South. I know a lot of people didn't like the Chinook but it was a fantastic performer with so much grunt available. That's a big bonus in any aerplane. Regards to all.

Added by Geoff Matthews on 11 September 2015.
Chinook's.. Hmmmmmm... I remember my back to back ditching with one in a calm sea (all were okay).
Not sure if it was from the Magnus...

Added by Noel Dutchman on 11 September 2015.
Hi, my name is Ian Newton, I was an electrical Tech on Telecomms from the start of Magnus. Brilliant to see Geoff Matthews comments. Excellent pilots Geoff, loved the Chinook myself, with its long range, and ability to land and take off in high winds. Much preferred it to Puma's etc. thanks for all your hard work. Regards Ian

Added by IAN NEWTON on 11 September 2015.
Magnus was the first job I worked on a Nigg in 1980. I remember in the winter before float out being sent up to the top to salt the walkways during a heavy frost. Great job with a gale blowing!

Added by Jerry Strang on 17 November 2015.
Mu first big job offshore was the Magnus repair to a crack at 180metres .I was a tech on the hyperbaric welding team . Habitat was secured to the leg and welder divers repaired the crack, 40 days onsite

Added by Jim Glover on 10 March 2016.
I remember the Hook-Up all too well and could write a book about it; most of it best forgotten.

Added by Richard Oliver on 12 May 2016.
I worked on the Magnus twice during the early eighties installing and commissioning the passenger lift in the accommodation modules and also the goods lift. I used to crew change on Wednesdays, 2nd Chinook. One trip I got delayed by two days due to supply boat late arrival which knocked everything back by two days and missed the very Chinook that ditched! Thankfully everyone was recovered!! Great memories of the Polycastle and the Hook-up. Anyone remember the "Seaview Stores"!!!

Added by Bill Maguire on 21 May 2016.
I was amongst the first of the hook up crew on the Magnus, at the time we were living on the Crane Barge (Balder or Hermod I think) whilst the modules were lifted on. I was a coded welder at the time and working for Grootcon. Previously I had been up at Peterhead running all the welding procedures for the hook up many months before the jacket was at station. The flight, in the Chinooks was pretty awful but the Polycastle was brand new.

Added by Chris Bluff on 23 August 2016.
I spent 21 years on the Magnus, mainly in the control room. You get to meet a lot of people there but I remember a lot of names previously mentioned. The motorbike was a Rudge. The mechanic mainly in charge of the project was Bruce and I believe it was Bruce who had the pleasure of riding it around Scotland for charity. Des Jackson was a tiffy and was on the ditched Chinook as was Cyril Koomashan who was also on the Bell 214 which made a controlled ditching in Aberdeen bay. Cyril wasn't very popular when he joined our crew change! Lots of memories. Sorry to see Magnus no longer BP operated but I guess that's big business. I have had a good life thanks to the Magnus.

Added by Derek Johnson on 28 March 2017.
I worked on this project from 1980 to 1982, at a number of locations, Ponticelli, Bordeaux, Kestrel Marine, Dundee and then PPS, Wallsend. My position was QA/QC Coordinator. Great project, some great people. I would like to hear from any of the following; Stan Stevenson, John Smith, Joe Gallagher, Roy Carson, Billy Angus, John Harris, Davy Jobling. I am retried now, after too many years in this business.


Added by Patrick Hamblin on 01 July 2017.
I am currently researching a film for BP about Magnus. The film is a look back and celebration of the platform. We want to tell the story in the words of those who worked and lived on her - and built her. Please contact my em if you are interested so I can learn more about your experience or indeed if you have photographs, memorabilia that we might be able to include in the film. Look forward to hearing from you. Tim (director).

Added by Tim Langford on 03 July 2017.
I worked on the hookup on bp magnus. 1982 to 84. On the construction. I had an accident and ended up in the sea after falling about 90 feet. I ended up with a nickname dipper. All great lads to work with the crack was great them days. No TV in your rooms all socialising was in accommodation. Best wishes to all the lads offshore.

Added by Les fergus on 09 July 2017.
I was one of the two Mick's at Nigg and we spent months in freezing cold snow filling the legs to test them. Foiling the bowser and driving the huge tractor was great fun driving past the huge cranes one night we got to the top of the yard. Only to find we had clipped the side of the Crane and we had to spend two days fixing the pipework on the bowser great times. Stuck in basket for 8 hours in a White out dock end of dock the two Mick's from Newcastle I loved the place so much I still regularly hap a pop along as I'm an entertainer now and play a lot in the highlands good luck to all the bears who worked on the Magnus. Ground breaking.

Added by Mike coxon on 11 July 2017.
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