Sound of silence as Burntisland oil rig is muffled

The oil rig off Burntisland. Pic by FPA
The oil rig off Burntisland. Pic by FPA

Residents in Kinghorn have called for any oil rigs to be sited along the Fife coast in the future to be fitted with noise reducing technology.

They say that cutting the noise from generators serving the rigs before they become a problem would go a long way to promoting neighbourly relations with people in nearby communities.

However, local councillor George Kay says it would be an unnecessary expense as the vast majority of the generators used do not cause any noise problems.

An “unprecedented number of complaints” to Councillor Kay over the past month about one rig situated half a mile off Burntisland, prompted him to contact both rig operators Paragon Offshore, and Forth Ports, which oversees the rigs to call for action.

And at the end of last week baffles were fitted around the generator, cutting down the amount of noise considerably.

At the weekend a number of Kinghorn residents added their names to a petition set up by Bill Mair, Solidarity candidate for Mid Scotland and Fife in next year’s local elections, who lived in the area for over 25 years.

He was approached by a local woman who lives at Sandyhills caravan park, and asked to look into the situation, which, she said had been ongoing for over two months.

Mr Mair said that so far around 15 people have signed the petition. He told the Press: “From speaking to local people it became apparent that this has been going on for years. So the petition is calling for oil rig operators to fit their rigs with sound abatement technology before they are installed near to coastal communities to stop the problem before it arises.”

However Cllr Kay said there had been hundreds of rigs over the years which had not caused any problem.

“This was one faulty generator which was quickly fixed by the operator by fitting this baffle which is like a car engine silencer,” he explained. “There would be no need to fit this to every generator.”

A spokesperson from Forth Ports said: “As a good neighbour, we work hard to ensure that any noise from our port operations and our customers does not disturb nearby communities. We will continue to do this with any new or existing customers in the future.”