The drill rig the Ocean Guardian which is owned by Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc and has a crew of 97 onboard, dropped anchors over the gas field last week.

The rig’s supply base is managed by Sinbad Marine in Killybegs. Donegal Airport will act as a hub for fixed wing flights from Aberdeen while helicopters will make daily transfers from there to the rig. Crew members normally spend 21 days on board before being transferred back for their rest periods.

As well as the Ocean Guardian, there will also be a number of other vessels including the Grampian Discovery (Standby Safety vessel) and the Edda Fram (Offshore Supply Ship) supporting the Ocean Guardian’s work at the field.

Other vessels due to arrive later in the summer include the Normand Subsea and the DOF Subsea.

The Corrib offshore work brings a welcome boost for hotels, taxis, stevedores, fuel suppliers, crane hire and many other support industries in the port.

The return of the Shell fleet to work in the Corrib gas field is welcome news for Jim Parkinson of the Killybegs based Sinbad Marine Services. “The activity generated in the marine logistic support for this project greatly enhances the commercial viability of Killybegs Harbour during the otherwise quiet summer months when the fishing fleet is tied up due to quota restrictions ,” said Jim.

Sinbad Marine Services has been supporting the Corrib Project since the Field was discovered. Over the years, Sinbad has grown from a small local player to a substantial company which can hold its head high and trade internationally with the top players in the oil and gas industry.

“This fact is in no small way attributable to the support of Shell Exploration & Production Ireland during a long and sometimes tumultuous campaign,” Mr. Parkinson acknowledged.

Sinbad Marine Services has now taken on support for a number of other oil and gas related seismic projects off the west coast of Ireland. In particular, Sinbad is supporting a major 2D seismic project for a Chinese seismic company, BGP, which is engaged in data acquisition for oil and gas potential off our west coast.

“This two year project is being managed out of the port of Killybegs. Again Sinbad Marine Services wish to publically recognise the help and support that Shell have given us over the years to enable us to take on these multinational clients and grow our business,” he said.