25,000 people may have marched through London demanding urgent action on climate change and delegates are in Nairobi for the most crucial climate talks in recent years. But it is business as usual for the oil industry. The biggest drilling rig construction project undertaken in Britain for more than a generation has just been announced.SeaDragon offshore intends to build three semi-submersible rigs worth $500m each in Teesside, North East England with the hulls to be bought from Russia’s Sevmarsh shipyard. The company is hoping to exploit a booming oil exploration market by supplying rigs capable of working in the most hostile environments – such as the Barents Sea in Norway and the Gulf of Mexico.

The group plans to float on the London Stock Exchange next year to raise funds for the $1.5bn (£800m) project.