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I reported what was, in 1973, the longest-ever event of its kind in Scottish legal history – the Drumbuie inquiry into plans by a consortium of Mowlem and Taylor Woodrow to build concrete oil platforms at a site next to the tiny crofting village on the shores of Loch Carron.
The top legal brains in Scotland – who went on to become the Lords Ross, McCluskey and Clyde – sifted through the arguments in the unlikely setting of Balmacara Hotel.
While this epic was going on, another consortium – Howard Doris – nicked in the back door with an application for the much less controversial Kishorn site.
There was an almost palpable sigh of relief in Government circles as a compromise solution presented itself – approve Kishorn and reject Drumbuie, where the reluctant landlords were the National Trust for Scotland.
Kishorn lends itself to offshore wind manufacturing, assembly and fabrication, operations and maintenance and decommissioning. It also has the added feature of an on-site quarry for the supply of concreting aggregates if the concrete gravity base structures or concrete casings are required.
MacRae left his home in Loch Kishorn in the West Highlands to begin a new life . . . by 1914 had set up his own underwear manufacturing firm . . . the swimming costumes that were starting to sell so well . . . quickly established itself as the ultimate swimwear for athletes and the public, earning MacRae the nickname 'The Speedo King'.
SCOTLAND should not become an oil rig “graveyard” because companies have reneged on pledges to restore the North Sea seabed once they are finished with it, according to one of the country’s leading oil economists.
Professor Alex Russell – chairman of the Oil Industry Finance Association, who is also chairing a working group on North Sea decommissioning – said the original plan was for oil companies to leave the seabed in the condition it was in before they started putting down their concrete and steel platforms.
“What we’re seeing in the Brent field is that plans have been put forward by Shell to simply remove the topsides and, in certain cases, leave the legs in situ with buoys to indicate the danger to shipping,” he said.
“That, to me, absolutely beggars belief. Scotland should not be used as a scrapyard for the remains of oil rigs.
“If we are giving tax concessions to oil companies for decommissioning, they should stick to the original plan, which was to restore the seabed back to its original condition.”
Ospar’s measures are largely the result of a spat between Shell and Greenpeace after the pressure group occupied Shell’s Brent Spar – a floating oil storage buoy at which tankers would load up on crude – to stop it being sunk and disposed of at sea in 1995. “The legislation that came into effect after Brent Spar is what drives North Sea decommissioning,” says Neilson.
The great summer of '76 and driving race to London for our week off.
Geordie went to the toilet and when the bus went round a bend he went out the window middle of nowhere on a snow covered Rannoch Moor - all the guys were queueing up banging the door waiting for a pee, didn't know he was lying in a ditch miles back till some van driver saw him.