LIVES IN THE OIL INDUSTRY - Oral History of the UK North Sea Oil and Gas Industry
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Related Activities: General

While the recording and archiving of interviews was the main focus of the programme, many associated activities have also been carried out. The following are some examples.

US visit

A notable feature of the programme in 2003 was a visit to the United States thanks to a special travel grant from the American Trust for the British Library. Nine interviews in the US were recorded with Americans all of whose careers included periods in the North Sea province with various US companies. The memories of one interviewee, Lewis Dugger, reached as far back as the wartime oilfield at Eakring in Nottinghamshire. This enterprise, in human terms, can be regarded as the antecedent of the North Sea industry. Many of the people who worked at Eakring went on to work offshore on the early North Sea rigs and platforms. In the course of the American phase of the project Hugo Manson’s research in Oklahoma resulted in the discovery of significant cache of documents relating to the Eakring oilfield, long lost from archives in Oklahoma (see reference to Eakring oilfields on The Project: Progamme page). The papers were traced to a deposit a thousand miles away in the State of Wyoming.

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Smithsonian Institution Folk Life Festival Participation

Project personnel were invited to participate, as part of the presentation of Scotland, in the Smithsonian Institution Folklife Festival in Washington DC in the summer of 2003. Being a part of this prestigious event, which that year was host to 1.1 million visitors, provided an extraordinary showcase both for the Project and for the UK North Sea Oil and Gas industry. The Project was represented by Director Terry Brotherstone, Manager/Interviewer Hugo Manson as well as three people who had recorded interviews with us during the course of the project, Dennis Krahn, Alexa Reid and the late Bob Ballantyne (one of the survivors of the Piper Alpha disaster). As part of the Scotland exhibition (the other two areas of the world on show were Mali and Appalachia), our project presented a spectacular display of industry related hardware and information to the crowds of visitors passing through. In addition, we took part in daily public presentations about the UK North Sea Oil and Gas industry.

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American media exposure

The project was featured in an editorial in the influential Houston-based Harts E&P journal. As a result of this publicity a number of interviews became possible with people in different parts of the world who had had unique experiences of the North Sea.

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Offshore Europe exhibitions

Lives in the Oil Industry featured, representing the University of Aberdeen, in Offshore Europe exhibitions held in Aberdeen in 2001 and 2003. These were important showcase opportunities for the project and valuable for making contact with potential interviewees.

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World Energy Cities Partnership initiative

Through the project we worked on developing links with researchers in energy cities around the world through the World Energy Cities Partnership with a view to creating a worldwide network of oral history projects focusing on the oil and gas industry. We are currently in discussion with colleagues in other countries in this connection. Another valuable association was with a colleague who had been working on the documentation of the Australian oil industry.

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This page last modified: Thursday, 22-May-2014 11:20:22 BST

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