Diving Lore

Offshore Activity

Offshore Platform - Thistle Oil Installation

Platform Size - Medium.

Platform Location - North Sea / Atlantic Margin (Approx 50 miles East of the Shetland Islands)

Condition - Weathered. Poor overall condition.

Hydrocarbon Output - Approx 4,500 barrels per day. The recent shutdown in Autumn 2006 will likely see a boost in oil production however. The April 2007 Shutdown may also enhance this further.

Offshore Welfare facilities -

The Good

The galley is quite large and the food is reasonable, the desserts, although they can be repetitive are tasty enough.
A weekly raffle-style competition is held in the galley and prizes can be quite lucrative.
The Thistle Platform has a very well stocked library and can be considered one of the best in the North Sea.
A large TV is located in the non-smoking lounge. The smokers lounge has a big screen TV. A pool table is in the aptly named pool room (opposite the smokers lounge), this has the hot drinks in it also. There are two telephones in decent booths for personal calls to the mainland.
A small TV is also installed in each room of the accommodation.
The Bond sells duty free goods.

The Bad

The Internet (two terminals) is located in a small room which doubles up as a paper store. The connection is haphazard and is the one of the slowest in the North Sea! The speed is on a par with modem speed. In addition certain websites are blocked from being viewed both punitively and retrospectively. While this to one extent is a sign of responsibility by Lundeens auditing team the websites tend to be blocked entirely according to the whims of the operator rather than of the websites themselves being 'At fault'! Examples include: Gambling sites, chat sites and even message forums. The accommodation is 2 person bunks that although quite roomy (on the upper floors only) have a catalogue of faults, the ladder to the top bunk isn't built into the bunk frame hence it can be a delicate balancing act climbing up and down it.
The ventilation system into the rooms becomes compromised whilst a helicopter is refueling causing the an unpleasant reek of aviation fuel. While this isn't life threatening it certainly causes an unpleasant stench for several hours. along with a telephone in the lower levels of the accom module.
There are some exercise / games rooms but these tend to so remotely detached from the accommodation module that few personnel bother with them.
One of the medics (Male) is worryingly spoken of, with regard to his blunt tact, approach and manner.

Work Area Welfare - A smoking shack is located near a massive satellite array on a corner of the platform (don't forget to hold onto your hard hat otherwise the wind rush may take it off!). This is a handy position for a respite from work and the elements. Overcrowding can occasionally be a problem but extra chairs are stored for these occasions. Every phone point is locked to internal platform calls only, although a secret phone known to only the chosen few does exist! (location supplied on request).

Platform Emergency Drills - Evident and carried out weekly (usually on a Sunday).

Overview - Located in the Northern Frontier region of the North Sea this oil platform is within sight of up to 26 platforms, including the Magnus. Despite this there remains a grim and remote feeling perhaps exaccerbated by some of the dour-faced workers that inhabit the 'bear pit' (smoke shack). A product of the Thistle's 'charm' factor no doubt.
The platform was constructed in the late 1970s and has been given the 'affectionate' nickname of 'The Black Pig'. Where the platforms nickname originates is now thought to be from the days when the drill crews practice of dumping all the waste drill material fluids down the derrick, soaking and drenching any workers below!

The Swedish company 'Lundeen' is the owner of this platform having been formally owned by BP who sold it a few years ago. The primary operating and contracting company that provides personnel for the oil platform is Petrofac.

UPDATE! On the morning of 25 November 2007 a fire broke out at 0807 hrs in the Turbine module! The fire was extinguished two hours later. 116 personnel were down manned and evacuatated to the nearby Dunlin and Murchison Platforms. An investigation is underway and Petrofac have issued statements.

OPR Rating - 3.0 / 10. To submit your additional review of the platform click here.


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