Peel Ports have advised that two HUGE ‘jack-up’ drilling rigs, 547 ft high, are due to be towed to Sheerness where they will be laid up for approximately six months. The ‘Prospector 1’ arrived on 16 May and the ‘Prospector 5’ is currently due in August. The rigs will intrude into part of the navigable channel adjacent to the old Ro-Ro berth and will partially obscure vision around Garrison Point into Sheerness Harbour. The diagram shows the rigs’ orientation and approximate positions
According to KentOnline, the rigs are expected to stay for six months while their owner Borr Drilling tries to find new work for them. Both of the Friede and Goldman JU2000E-type rigs were built in 2013 in China. They have been used in the North Sea for oil and gas exploration. They can operate in 400 feet of water in all weather and can drill to a depth of 35,000 feet. Each £123m rig boasts three cranes, six engines, a helicopter landing deck and accommodation for more than 140 workers.