|In 1969 giant oil and gas fields were
discovered under the North Sea off the northern coast of Scotland.
This event had a dramatic impact on both the British economy and the
culture of North East Scotland. Off-shore drilling platforms or "rigs"
were need to reach the oil and to house hundreds of workers who kept
them pumping 24 hours a day. An intricate system of boats, helicopters,
and suppliers maintains the rigs, and much of it is based in the ancient
Scottish port city of Aberdeen.
Before oil was first pumped ashore from "The Forties"
field in 1975, northern Scotland and the Shetland and Orkney Islands
relied heavily on fishing and farming - traditional ways of life
that were already economically struggling.
The oil boom brought new jobs, new money, new opportunities, and
oil workers from around the world. It also brought new challenges
to local culture, as the lives of thousands of Scots in previously
remote northern coastal towns and islands were daily affected by
the demands and the economic ups and downs of the oil industry.
Scotland's oil and gas fields are expected to produce oil well into
the 21st century.