Scotland politics

Scottish independence: The story of oil as seen through BBC film

The issue of North Sea oil has been a key talking point ahead of the Scottish independence referendum. But how did it earn its place in the debate? Here, we've delved into the BBC television archives to tell the story.


Current Account, first broadcast on 25 April 1974

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionIn 1974, the Secretary of State for Scotland discussed whether North Sea oil should be nationalised

Panorama in Scotland: Should Auld Acquaintance...?, first broadcast 13 May 1974

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAlan Watson looks at how the discovery of oil beneath the North Sea has revolutionised the economics of the United Kingdom and the politics of Scotland

Panorama in Scotland: Should Auld Acquaintance...?, first broadcast 13 May 1974

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAlan Watson asks Scottish Nationalist Party MP Gordon Wilson what claim Scotland has over oil discovered beneath the North Sea

Panorama in Scotland: Should Auld Acquaintance...?, first broadcast 13 May 1974

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe discovery of reserves of oil beneath the North Sea off the coast of Scotland has raised concerns among affected communities

Election Panorama, first broadcast 7 October 1974

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionHow oil discovered off the coast of Scotland has fuelled the ambitions of the Scottish National Party

BBC News, first broadcast 18 June 1975

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionEnergy Secretary Tony Benn marks the first delivery to shore from UK oil fields

BBC News, first broadcast 3 November 1975

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionQueen Elizabeth II opens the UK's first oil pipeline at BP's operational headquarters outside Aberdeen

Panorama Special: Coming Apart? The Devolution Debate part 1, first broadcast 17 November 1975

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDavid Dimbleby reports on how the discovery of oil beneath the North Sea changed the dynamic of the debate over Scottish independence

BBC News, first broadcast 14 February 1976

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe Chairman of the Scottish Labour party states that North Sea oil is British, not Scottish

Schools Around Scotland: Aberdeen Lives, first broadcast 5 November 1986

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe process of oil extraction from the North Sea fields

Related Topics