chapter  5
32 Pages

The coming of oil, the Fourth Round controversy and its consequences

The fi rst oil discovery in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) to satisfy the Ministry’s defi nition of “signifi cant” 1 was made as early as November 1966 in Block 48/22 by the licence group led by Burmah Oil. At the time it was not regarded as signifi cant and for many years was not included in the table of signifi cant discoveries published by the Department of Energy. It remains the only signifi cant oil/ condensate discovery in the Southern North Sea and has not yet been developed. The fi rst commercial oil discovery was made in December 1969 by Amoco in the Central North Sea in block 22/18. For a long time this was referred to as the Montrose fi eld, but, after separate fi eld status was given to the structure in which the discovery was made, it became known as Arbroath. In the Norwegian sector the giant Ekofi sk fi eld was discovered in late 1969. This added much interest to UK as well as Norwegian waters.