PORT of Cromarty Firth has welcomed its 700th rig since its first such visit more than 40 years ago.

The semi-submersible West Phoenix is scheduled to be in port for two months having work done on her thrusters, before going out on contract on the UK and Norwegian continental shelves for Norway’s Statoil. The first rig to come into the Port was on February 15 1978.

Port of Cromarty Firth is home to a number of world-class companies which undertake rig inspection and repair work. General manager, Captain Calum Slater, welcomed the landmark: “It is testament to the skills of the people who work in the firth and the service they have provided to rig owners for decades.

“The fact that our 700th visit is for repair work rather than storage highlights the positive signs we are seeing from the North Sea.

“We expect more rigs to leave the Firth this year and return to work, which is good news for the industry and the people working within it.”