North Sea oil - a brief outline

Bell, D N F and Hart, S and Kirwan, F X and McNicoll, I H and Moar, L. and Simpson, D R F and Wingfield, A A (1979) North Sea oil - a brief outline. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 4 (4). pp. 23-27. ISSN 0306-7866

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The growth of the North Sea Oil industry, along with its various supply and servicing sectors, dates back to the early 1970's. Prior to this time the main exploration activities had been concentrated in the southern waters of the North Sea, but only natural gas had been found. The first oil discoveries in the northern waters (i.e. north of 56°N) were actually made in the Norwegian sector. However, these were quickly followed in 1969 with the announcement of the Montrose field and by the Forties, Argyll, Brent, Auk and the Frigg gas fields over the following two years. Scotland developed as the main base for servicing the needs of the offshore industry, with the main centres of oil related activity concentrated around Aberdeen, Peterhead, Nigg Bay and the Shetlands. This students brief outlines the nature of this industrial sector and its current economic relevance to the Scottish economy.