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North Sea Oil (clip)

TV current affairs programme about North Sea Oil in 1971

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A current affairs programme discussing the North Sea oil industry in 1971 - just as the potential value of the industry to Scotland was becoming apparent.
The clip opens with footage of work aboard an oil platform. A pump man is interviewed, describing his job and some of the dangers involved. A geologist then explains his excitement at the presence of a large oil field within UK waters. Following some shots of a helicopter landing we are shown a simple map detailing the spread of drill sites in the North Sea. An aerial shot is provided of the 'Sea Quest' platform. An interview with Bill Adams of the Scottish Council for Development of Industry follows. Adams predicts great opportunities for the economy in supplying services to the drilling operations. The programme's presenter then visits the Clyde ship building area and reflects upon the decline of traditional heavy industry in the area. The shipbuilder Ken Douglas is then interviewed and some of the problems Clyde shipbuilders have in responding to demand for rigs are discussed.

Questions & Activities


  • Where was North Sea Gas first discovered?
  • What are the main dangers of oil and gas drilling?
  • What were seen as the challenges and opportunities for Scotland?
  • Did Scotland grasp the thistle?
  • What impact does the offshore industry have on other service industries in Scotland?
  • How much tax revenue does Scotland receive from the North Sea?


Business Studies: Research the benefits of the Oil industry to the Scottish economy and discuss the claim by the SNP that Scotland would have faired better as an independent nation.

Science: Research how oil deposits are formed and why they are present in the North Sea.

Geography: Which areas of UK waters are thought may have oil deposits?

Science: What new solutions is Scotland proposing to energy problems?

Science: Then North Sea Oil was seen as the answer to Scotland'€™s answer to energy problems. Renewables are now seen as the answer. Design your own technology of capturing energy from wind or the sea.

Business Studies / Social History / Economics: Research how North Sea Oil transformed the economy of North East Scotland. Discuss whether any other areas of Scotland benefited from this 'oil bonanza'€™.

Business Studies / History / Geography: What reasons does the representative from the Shipyards give for not producing more oil platforms in the Clyde? Do you think that they were right to take this approach? What lasting impact did this decision have on the Clyde'€™s workforce?

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-004-203-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of Scottish Television
Project Ref T2290
Date 1971
Genre Current Affairs Programme
School Subject History, Geography, Science, Business Studies, Economics, Social History
Who Scottish Television (production company)
Where North Sea, River Clyde, Glasgow
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 9:33
Film Length 29:55