- Oil industry in Aberdeen
The Oil industry in Aberdeen began with the discovery of significant oil deposits in the
North Seaduring the mid 20th Century. Aberdeenbecame the centre of Europe's petroleumindustry. With the largest heliport in the world and an important service ship harbour port serving oil rigs off-shore Aberdeen is often called the "Oil Capital of Europe". The number of jobs created by the energy industry in and around Aberdeen has been estimated at half a million.
Today reserves are still flowing fast but it has been estimated that the north sea is nearing or has even surpassed it's peak production rate. Consequently, the city is going to have to redevelop itself as a research and development hub rather than the base for off-shore drilling to keep the multi-national companies that drive the economy. There have been local political attempts to turn Aberdeen's reputation as the "Oil Capital of Europe" into the "Energy Capital of Europe".
This has been reasonably successful with developments such as new
Royal Dutch Shellresearch centre beside its existing city headquarters in Altens.
Not without problems the biggest disaster happened in
1988, when the city was dealt a heavy blow by the loss-of 167 men during an explosion and fire aboard one such rig, the Piper Alpha. It is the worlds worst ever offshore disaster and there is a fitting memorial in Hazlehead Park.
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