THISTLE

Cast your mind back to 1977. A cold wavefront produced the only known snow in Miami.

Elsewhere, the ford Fiesta wenton sale, , Clive Sinclair introduced his new TV set with a 2 in screen. Red Rum won the Grand National for the third time, Manchester United boss Tommy Docherty was dismissed after having an affair with the wife of someone else in the club and undertakers went on strike. Those were the days.

The most northerly and remote field in the UK at the time, was Thistle. Despite knowledge of what the sea conditions were at that time of year, the operators, (Signal oil and gas at the time pf planning, Burmah at the time of operation) went for a winter jacket installation. Once installed, the 135m piles were to be set. The contractor was Santa Fe.

They devised a scheme whereby a base was to be located on the jacket and insert piles installed from there. The driving of the 42 outer primary piles started in 1976 but after 208 days, the piling was completed. Insert piling has only ever been tried once in the North sea – on Oxy’s Piper field. Wimpey provided the grout.

Belford Dolphin

The Belford Dolphin semi was used for accommodation to support the Thistle piling