LIVES IN THE OIL INDUSTRY - Oral History of the UK North Sea Oil and Gas Industry
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Origins | Programme | Interviews
Personnel | History of UK North Sea Oil and Gas Industry

The Project: Interviews

The interviews for the project are in the form of life histories. Information is collected about the early life of each interviewee in order to provide a personal context for the main area of the interview which focuses on the oil and gas industry.

Typically, each interview is of between three and five hours in length and chronological in form. The interviews are recorded on a confidential basis with the arrangement that future access by researchers will be subject to a consent form on which the interviewee may state any restrictions or time/publication limitations up to 30 years. In practice, the majority of interviews are available to researchers. The interviews are not edited in any way unless at the specific request of the interviewee concerned.

Once an interview is completed, a word-searchable summary is prepared. This is the main finding aid after the interview has been deposited in the archive. The original recording is deposited as a matter of record with National Life Stories in the Sound Archive at The British Library. Copies are available for consultation there and in the University of Aberdeen Library Special Collections. Excerpts can be heard at


Areas covered

Interviews were recorded in many parts of the British Isles from the far north of the Isle of Unst in Shetland to the southeast and southwest of England. Areas focused on included Shetland and Orkney, Aberdeen and North East Scotland, Great Yarmouth and the east coast of England - all of them centres of the North Sea industry - and offshore on the North Sea itself.

Other recordings were made in several parts of the United States with Americans involved over the years with the North Sea industry.

Occupations of the interviewees include:

Administration, Airports, Asset management, Banking, Brent Spar, Business development, Business travel, Catering, Chaplaincy, Chemical laboratories, Construction, Construction camps, Contract market, Contracting, Drilling, Eakring, Early pre-North Sea industry history, Engineering, Equipment supply, Exploration, French personnel, Gas companies/organisations, Geology, Health and Safety, Hook-up, Human relations, Joint ventures, Law, Local authorities, Lowestoft, North East Scotland Development Authority (NESDA), Norwegian perspective, Offshore Supplies Office (OSO), Oil companies, Oil industry artist, Oil industry clothing, Oil pollution control, Oil wives and children, Oil/gas industry information systems, Oil/gas industry trades, Orkney, Petroleum engineering, Police/Security, Post Office, Shetland, Supply vessels, Tankers, Tankships, Unions/Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC), US personnel, Well services, Wire manufacture

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Some Statistics

Number of recordings to date:


Number of people interviewed including spouses:


Average hours per interview:


Total hours recorded:


Number of men recorded:


Number of women recorded:


Age range of interviewees:


Duration (in years) of project


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This page last modified: Thursday, 18-Nov-2010 11:49:12 GMT

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Department of History · University of Aberdeen · Aberdeen AB24 3FX