Credit where it is due? North Sea oil 'airbrushed out of history'

Some of us in Aberdeen City and Shire wonder whether people in London and the Home Counties ever bother to stop and think what it was that built our current strong economy? Do they ever wonder where most of this country's energy comes from?

There seems to be an extraordinary lack of awareness. And it is not just today, but as Andrew Marr pointed out in his excellent history of modern Britain programme on BBC TV, the North Sea oil and gas story seems to have been airbrushed out of past history.

Speaking of the Margaret Thatcher era and how the radical plans to revive the British economy might have gone off the rails had it not been for North Sea oil and gas, the programme cut to a North Sea oil platform.

Offshore oil platform
"What was achieved by all the roustabouts, engineers, divers, pilots and the financiers was epic and central"

"North Sea oil bankrolled Margaret Thatcher's early hardest years," Andrew Marr explained in his piece to camera. "Without oil the great squeeze and shake out of the economy might very well have broken the back of the government.

"So what was achieved by all the roustabouts, engineers, divers, pilots and the financiers was epic and central.


"what was achieved by all the roustabouts, engineers, divers,
pilots and the financiers was epic and central"


"And yet, barely a word about it appears in Margaret Thatcher's memoirs or those of most other ministers. It's as if an attempt was made to airbrush this industry out of Britain's national story. Which would be shameful."

Shameful indeed. Yet, to this day there are policy makers in London who appear to be unaware that 70% (and expected to rise to 80%) of Britain's prime energy needs stem from the oil and gas industry in the North Sea.

The mention that there are 300+ international energy companies based in Aberdeen City and Shire raises eyebrows. Even more so, when you tell them that these companies do an average of 40% of their business overseas from what is now one of the world's prime international centres of excellence in oil and gas technology.

These people in their ivory towers in London really should get out more.

The shocking element of Andrew Marr's comment is the inference that the role of North Sea oil and gas industry in the UK economy has been deliberately downplayed.
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