In pictures: North Sea oil and gas

An oil platform around 100 miles from Aberdeen where ministers from both the UK and Scottish governments are meeting to put forward their separate visions for the future of the North Sea's oil and gas industry An oil platform around 100 miles from Aberdeen. The UK and Scottish Cabinets have both met near the city to put forward their separate visions for the future of the North Sea's oil and gas industry.
In 1970 the semi-submersible rig Sea Quest, pictured, made the first offshore oil find in the UK discovering the Forties Oil Field, after six years of explorations. In 1970 the semi-submersible rig Sea Quest, pictured, made the first offshore oil find in the UK, 100 miles east of Aberdeen. BP's discovery of the Forties Oil Field came after six years of explorations.
The first flow of North Sea oil from the Forties oil field was started in 1975 by the Queen, more than ten years after explorations for the valuable resource began. The first flow of North Sea oil from the Forties oil field was started in 1975 by the Queen, more than ten years after explorations for the valuable resource began.
By 1980 dozens of 100 oil and gas platforms had been installed in the North Sea and the industry was enjoying a boom set to last another eight years By 1980 dozens of oil and gas platforms had been installed in the North Sea leading to a boom in the market which would not start to decline until the 1990s. In 2012 the North Sea still produced 67% of the UK's oil demand and 53% of its gas use.
A fire on the Piper Alpha oil platform off the coast of Aberdeen killed 167 people in 1988 and is still the world's worst offshore oil and gas tragedy. But in 1988 a shadow was cast over the industry when a fire on the Piper Alpha oil platform off the coast of Aberdeen killed 167 people.
The disaster was a stark reminder of the daily dangers facing oil and gas rig workers. The disaster was a stark reminder of the daily dangers facing oil and gas rig workers. The industry now employs 450,000 people across the UK.
But fires are not the only dangers facing workers over the decades, many have also been killed when helicopters have ditched while travelling to and from the off-shore platforms, including 16 people in 2009. But fires have not been the only dangers facing workers over the decades. Many have also been killed when helicopters have ditched while travelling to and from the off-shore platforms. In 2009 16 died in such accidents.
The industry peaked around the year 2000 when more than 4 million barrels where being produced every day. Aberdeen harbour became the busiest in Britain, transporting gas and oil industry goods to the North Sea oil platforms. The industry peaked around the year 2000 when more than four million barrels of oil and gas where being produced every day. Aberdeen Harbour became the busiest in Britain, transporting gas and oil industry goods to the North Sea oil platforms.
The future of North Sea oil and gas will continue to be a major campaign battleground ahead of the Scottish independence referendum, with another 30-40 years of production predicted. The future of the North Sea oil and gas industry will continue to be a major campaign battleground ahead of the Scottish independence referendum, with another 30-40 years of production predicted.

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