Views of the Neighborhood

Another big oil drilling rig has come to Port Aransas on Thursday for refitting.

Big Rig

This platform is the Noble Jim Day, and it has moved from the Gulf of Mexico to its mooring on Harbor Island in Port Aransas. The Nobel Jim Day is owned by the Nobel Corporation with offices in London and Sugarland, Texas. The unit is a semi-submersible and capable of operating in 12,000 feet of water and can drill to 37,000 feet. She was built in 1999 and retrofitted in 2010. She was primarily deployed in North America.

You can see in the background another rig The West Sirus that was parked back in July of 2015. This shot shows how the tug boats push and pull the deepwater drilling rig into place.

big rig

This photo is a shot of the rig nearing Harbor Island. It is now blocking the other apparatus from view. While the platform passed through the channel, all ferry-boat activity was halted.

big rig

Once the platform moved by the ferry-boat landing, the boats began running. You can see the long white ferries in the foreground beginning their crossing.

This photo shows the emergence of Harbor Island to the right as the big rig gets closer. Also, the ferries take on a frenzied appearance.

Big rig

The final shot shows the big rig in its new home.

Big rig



  1. While accepting that these things bring jobs and wealth, I could see myself becoming somewhat NIMBY about it (not that such a rig is ever likely to appear in my neck of the woods).

    1. These things are a symbol of domestic oil production and thus are respected by most of us. Bit of an eyesore though.

      1. That’s the price we have to pay. I’m not too keen on the turbines, or large areas of solar panels, but they perhaps give more than they take.

  2. Very interesting facts, John. Although I suppose the rig is an eye sore to many, the sky is fabulous! Happy Sunday!

    1. Thanks, Jill. We have had some nice clouds lately. No rain just clouds. Happy Sunday to you. *Sung to the tune “Volcano”by Jimmy Buffet.

      1. Funny, we just heard that song last night while working our jigsaw puzzles. 🙂 We haven’t had any rain either.

      2. We need to beat a drum or something.

  3. Interesting. Never knew they had names. Always thought it was numbers.

    1. I think all the platforms have names. Not sure, but I think so.

  4. You need to get a job with your local tourism board. I love learning about stuff from your area. And seeing pictures makes it better. I want to move there.

    1. Thank you, Pamela. Hope you have a great Sunday. Yeah, come on down.

  5. Thanks for these photos John. It’s absolutely amazing that we are capable of moving things of this scale with relative ease. How long will the refit take (any averages?)

    1. They estimate a couple of years on the other one so I guess this would be about the same. Thanks for the visit.

  6. This is interesting. Do these thing simply float while they drill? I always thought they had legs of some kind, but 12,000 foot legs doesn’t seem likely.

    1. They have anchors. The legs are flooded and the anchors deployed to the sea bottom. 🙂

      1. Interesting. I’ll bet Matt Jacobs could cause a mess with one of those.

      2. Ha ha ha. I’ll bet he could.

  7. Good morning, John. This is a fascinating post. You did a great job with the photos too. What a magnificent backdrop that cloud formation makes! Have a sublime Sunday. Mega hugs.

    1. Thank you, Teagan. Super Sunday to you as well. Hugs

  8. Good morning, John,
    and thanks fore these pictures. I’ve never seen a complete drilling rig being towed past Port A. I only saw one still in the making []. These things are really gigantic, aren’t they? Both fascinating and scary at yhe same time. Talking of scary: I still rememeber encountering one being towed when I was sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar. Even being towed it had a speed advantage over us sailing, which meant we had to really make an effort not to get in its way.
    Back to Port A again: I really like to watch the ship channel [ &
    Have a wonderful Sunday down there,

    1. I can’t imagine what it would be like trying to avoid a platform. Also, sailing around Gibraltar must have been a challenge. Thanks for sharing your posts too.

      1. That was a really great trip: from Gran Canaria to Mallorca – three weeks, and most of it on the high seas.
        That rig with – I don’t remember how many – the tugs spread out in front of it looked a bit like a big net about to catch us. But we were far enough to the side to avoid it. It was in the middle of the night, btw.
        Gibraltar from the water is something, yes. I’ve seen it a few times in my previous life as a sailor.

      2. What a great story, Pit. Must have been exciting.

      3. It was exciting and enjoyable, but also quite taxing our endurance.

      4. I’m sure it was taxing. I never could sleep well on a boat. I was always worried about the anchor giving way. (very seldom tied up)

      5. We very rarely anchored. Either sailing on or tying up in a harbour. So no worries about the anchor slipping.

  9. Great pictures, John. I imagine those rigs are welcome as they employ a lot of workers. 🙂 — Suzanne

    1. Yes. They are like rock stars when they move in and out.

  10. They’re certainly not pretty but slips and mooring with tug boat action is always fascinating to watch from a far off vantage point 🙂

    1. Yes they are. Thanks Jan

  11. I for one don’t consider these to be eyesores. As the daughter of a geologist, I think they represent jobs, freedom from foreign involvement, and the excitement of finding something that was previously hidden. Thanks for a lovely tour, my friend!

    1. Excellent. I feel the same. 🙂

  12. I can see rigs from this side and do no consider them eye-sores. Striking shots!

    1. You and me both. You should hear some of the Port A folks complain.

  13. Wow.
    Epic, powerful shots, John.

  14. I’m thankful to live in a location that doesn’t have to deal with ugly eyesores such as those! The pristine coastline around here is home to many oyster beds. You won’t find me eating oysters from anywhere else in the country, LOL

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