ONCE UPON A TIME – THE DRILLSHIP NAVIFOR NORSE
Very little is known about the Navifor Norse drillship operated in its day by the French contractor Cosifor. The rig had been drilling exploration wells in West Africa for ten years for the Paris-based oil company Elf.
It belongs to these bulk carriers converted into drillships after a busy carrier at sea. It was a common thing in the early 1970s, an easy way for adventurous drillers to enter the offshore world.
The Navifor Norse started its life as an ocean bulk freighter: Avery C, Adams. The ship was built at Montreal, Quebec, by Canadian Vickers for Bradley Shipping Co. and launched in June 1958. The ship operated in off-Lakes service until the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway for Wilson Shipping Corporation established in Montreal. She was sold 1960 for off-Lakes service and left the Great Lakes. She was nenamed Cyprus in 1964, Union in 1968 and Freja in 1969. Sold in 1972 to Hall Corporation Shipping Ltd., Montreal QC, she returned to Great Lakes service with home port to Montreal QC. She was renamed Scotiacliffe Hall in 1972 then Scotiacliffe in 1974. The ship was sold and left the Great lakes. She was Chartered by Hall Shipping to Bunge Canada, to haul grain.
In March 1973 as Scottiacliffe Hall, when outbound from Galveston Bay, Tx, she collided with inbound British propeller Drucillau U. Severely damaged she dry docked at Todd Shipyards, Galveston, TX, for repairs.
Acquired by Farell Inc. Scottiacliffe arrived at Gothenburg in Sweden in March 1975 to be converted to drillship and named Navifor Norse. Operated by the French contractor Cosifor, it started operations in 1976. The rig spent its short life in the oilfield, drilling exploration wells along the coast of West Africa, especially offshore the Republic of Congo and Gabon, this until 1986. The Navifor Norse was sold in 1987 by Societe Elf-Gabon its owner from 1982, to the Norwegian A.N.S. Andskip and renamed Ile de Kassa.
On August 8, 1989 the drillship was beached near Aliaga in Turkey and broken up by its Norwegian owners. (Image: W. Thiel)
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