Big rig to star on TV

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A STATE-OF-THE-ART gas platform built in Hartlepool will be the “star” of a television documentary.

The Discovery Channel is launching a mini series called Mega Rigs, showcasing the platforms built by energy firm Centrica.

Tonight’s show at 9pm includes the construction work done in Hartlepool at the Heerema yard.

The two-part series follows scientists, engineers and drilling experts working on a new generation of platforms and drilling technology for the remote gas fields of the North Sea.

The show follows the construction of a platform called F3-FA, which celebrated its first year of successful production in February.

It also looks at the Ensign platform, which uses new drilling technologies to unlock hard-to-reach gas in the southern North Sea.

The series follows the journey from platform design through to construction, drilling and installation.

Heerema, based in Greenland Road, Hartlepool, is one of the many firms involved in the process and the footage includes shots taken in town.

Jonathan Roger, managing director of Centrica Energy Upstream, said: “Projects like these are achieved due to a phenomenal amount of effort by everyone involved to overcome the technical and commercial challenges, which are often difficult to foresee.

“Everyone in our business should be hugely proud of the programme, which showcases the very best of what can be achieved by the oil and gas industry as we work together to unlock the remaining gas and oil resources in the North Sea.”

The Hartlepool Mail reported last week how Heerema had completed its latest order, a 2,750 tonne platform for Centrica’s York Field Development gas field, and it was ready to sail out next month.

Heerema has now completed three projects for Centrica. A spokesman for Heerema said: “It was a pleasure to work closely with Centrica in making Mega Rigs. Broadcasting innovative groundbreaking projects in the offshore oil and gas industry helps to show people what is needed to bring energy to our homes and also helps to generate interest of students to choosing a career in our industry’.