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UPDATE: Noble Jim Day Departure Delayed Indefinitely

The Noble Jim Day in Curaçao, an island in the Caribbean Sea. Photo courtesy of Marcel Andringa/

UPDATE: The Noble Jim Day's departure has been delayed indefinitely. The Friday, Jan. 29 date was first delayed until Saturday, Jan. 30. Tugboats tried to move the oil rig on Sunday, Jan. 31, but low tides made it impossible.

After 4½ years in storage in Port Aransas, the Noble Jim Day offshore oil rig will leave for Turkey on Friday, Jan. 29. One of the largest rigs in the world, it will be scrapped upon its arrival.

The giant rig has been docked at Gulf Copper on Harbor Island since its arrival July 28, 2016. Its last active operation was in the Gulf of Mexico, some 200 miles south of New Orleans. About 150 people worked on the rig when it closed. Oil from the rig went to Shell Oil Co. until its contract expired in January 2016.

Built in 1999, the rig was upgraded in 2010 to operate in a water depth of 12,000 feet and drill to a depth of 37,000 feet.

Noble Danny Adkins, also destined for a scrap heap in Turkey, left Gulf Copper in mid-December 2020. The last of the three rigs, the West Sirius, is expected to be gone no later than March.

Spectators usually line up to watch as tugboats haul the rigs into the Gulf. A spokesperson at Gulf Copper warned that weather conditions could delay the departure. The rigs are hard to miss when they start moving.

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