High winds have derailed plans to lift the Transocean Winner rig onto a carrier vessel off the Isle of Lewis.
Salvage teams planned to load the 17,600 semi-submersible onto the OHT Hawk this weekend.
But an oil spill exercise at the rig location scheduled for Thursday afternoon had to be cancelled due to a change in the wind direction, and now the loading operation has also been delayed.
Government salvage official Colin Mulvana told the BBC the weather window would not be big enough, and that they would look for another opportunity this week.
He was quoted as saying: “The five-day forecast so far doesn’t give us any opportunity whatsoever. Hopefully we will get a weather window in the following week.
“Preparations will continue, they will just fine-tune them. All the plans have been submitted and we are in the process of reviewing and approving them.
“There is potential to test some of the plans over this period when we do have a lull.”
Transocean Winner is currently anchored in Broad Bay off the east coast of the Isle of Lewis.
The rig was taken there in August after being successfully refloated off the west coast, where it ran aground earlier the same month following a storm.
Once aboard Hawk, it will be taken to Turkey for scrapping.