Built to Sink (1974) Laing Offshore Film Graythorp 1 construction

A film made by John Laing to publicise and record the construction of the Oil Rig Jacket known as ‘Graythorp 1’.

BFI Database: Sponsored film on the construction of Britain’s first permanent steel oil production rig, and its float-out and sinking in BP’s Forties oil field.

The film begins with an animation showing the plan for the project. It describes the Teesside area’s experience with steel, which made it a suitable area for the production of the steel jacket platform. It shows the preparation work for the construction area and the building of a bund wall to create a working basin that could be drained and flooded.

The jacket is then constructed piece by piece on top of a flotation tank using cranes. The welding is shown and the various check processes including x-ray to ensure the integrity of the structure.

When the jacket is complete there is a naming ceremony and party, before the basin is flooded and the structure is towed 250 miles to the Forties field in June 1974. The sinking of the structure into place is shown at the end of the film.

This is a brand new digital transfer of a vintage 16mm library print.


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