Records of Atlantic Drilling Company Limited, shipping and oil drilling company, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Atlantic Drilling Co partnership meeting report on progress of Atlantic I and Atlantic II buildings, 1975;
  • Atlantic I report, 1978;
  • Benreoch and Benvrackie drilling contract ammendments, 1987;
  • Drill rig photographs, c1980s;
  • Brochures and leaflets, c1977-1989;
  • Presentation overhead projection material, 1984-1990;
  • Stickers, c1976-1977;
  • Drill rig Benlomond cloth badges, c1976-1980s;
  • Atlantic I jigsaw puzzle, c1976;
  • Flag and banner, c1970s-1980s.

Administrative / Biographical History

In December 1976 Ben Line purchased the Sheaf Steam Shipping Company of Newcastle. This purchase resulted in the aquisition of ships, mainly bulk carriers, which were absorbed into the Ben Line fleet. It also included a 100% interest in Sheaf Drilling, which in turn part-owned two semi-submersible drilling rigs, under construction in Finland, with Reardon Smith, the Welsh shipowners, and and Irish and a Mexican company. Following negotiations the Irish and the Mexican company left the partnership and Ben Line and Reardon Smith each owned one rig and held a 50% interest in Atlantic Drilling Company Ltd which was set up to manage the two rigs in 1977. The two drill rigs were  Atlantic I and  Atlantic II.

In 1977 Ben Line Steamers Ltd bought Reardon Smith's rig and also their 50% share in ADCO, making it a Ben Line Group company outright. Shortly after,  Atlantic I and  Atlantic II were renamed  Benvrackie VI and  Bendoran V respectively.

In 1980 the company acquired self-propelled drill ship  Fredericksburg which was renamed  Benlomond VII the following year. In 1983 the company acquired semi-submersible rig  Benreoch III . It appears that ADCO played a role in the management of  Ocean Benloyal which was acquired by Ben Odeco Ltd in 1982. In 1992, following the dissolvement of Ben Odeco, the semi-submersible rig was transferred to ADCO and renamed  Benloyal III.

By the early 1990s oil drilling companies were in fierce competition and running costs were becoming high and the rigs were gradually sold off, with  Benloyal III and  Benreoch III being the last sold off in January 1996 to Stena Drilling Ltd of Aberdeen. This effectively brought Atlantic Drilling Company Ltd to an end. Its last accounts were made up to 1998 when it was dissolved.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Gift : E G Thomson (Holdings) Ltd : June 2013 : ACCN 3773

Gift : E G Thomson (Holdings) Ltd : February 2013 : ACCN 3744

Transfer : Edinburgh University Library : June 2006 : ACCN 2949

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

All Materials held by Ben Line Group Limited until it was wound down in 2000. Thereafter transfered to and held by E G Thomson (Holdings) Ltd until deposit at GUAS, with exception of ACCN 2949, containing voyage account books and voyage account boxes, which were held by Edinburgh University Library until transfer to GUAS in 2006.


None expected

Related Material

Related Ben Line Group companies GB 248 UGC 199, in particular Ben Odeco Limited GB 248 UGC 199/6

Location of Originals

This material is original


Somner, G.Ben Line: Fleet List and Short History. Kendal, England: World Ship Society , 1st edition 1967 , 2nd edition 1980 .Strachan, M.The Ben Line 1825-1982. Norwich: Michael Russell , 1992 .Somner, G.Ben Line. Preston: Ships in Focus Publications , 2009 .

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999and National Council on Archives, Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level description compiled by .

Family Names