Oil and Gas
Exploitable oil reserves were discovered in the North Sea in the late 1960's and since then the extraction and processing of oil has boosted the economy of the whole of the north east of Scotland. In the Moray Firth, the Beatrice oil field lies 22km off the coast and has been operating since 1976. First discovered and developed by Talisman Energy (UK) Ltd, it covers an area of around 23km2. The oil is 2,100m below the sea bed and about 8,000 tonnes of oil has been produced each day. Operation of the Beatrice oil field was then transferred to Ithaca Energy who took over operations in 2008.
Oil from the Beatrice field is transported by sea bed pipeline to the oil terminal at Nigg, on the Cromarty Firth. Tankers then take the refined oil around the world - the deep and sheltered inlets of the Firth allow easy access for these tankers. Oil platforms and pipelines were built and repaired at sites around the inner Moray Firth, such as at Invergordon and Ardesier.
The Beatrice Field is now nearing the end of its productive life and Talisman have explored the potential of the site for the world’s first deep water wind farm. Led by Talisman in partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy (and others), the Beatrice Wind Farm Demonstrator Project, at a cost of €41 million, saw two 5MW wind turbines installed adjacent to the Beatrice oil field. Read more....