Oilfield History

I have spent much of my life living in “oil towns” around the world; places like Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Aberdeen and Shekou (China) are communities where the exploration and production of oil & gas are the primary industry, and everyone is (or knows someone who is) directly or indirectly employed in the industry. It was a surprise when I learned recently that the first oil to be produced in the UK, back in 1919, was somewhat closer to my home. The Hardstoft wells, drilled to decrease a reliance on imported oil that was a concern during WW1, are located about 6 miles south of Chesterfield, the town where I was born, and about 15 miles from where I now live. You can learn more about this at https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Geoscientist/Archive/March-2016/Hardstoft-Britains-First-Oilfield and at http://www.derbyshireheritage.co.uk/Menu/Industries/hardstoft_oilwell.php

Despite recent attempts to explore the potential of local shale, there is no longer any oil production in Derbyshire (that I am aware of), however there is still significant oil & gas production in nearby Lincolnshire, a fact which most people in the UK are unaware of. Oil production in the UK is always associated with offshore North Sea activity, mainly focussed on Aberdeen. It just shows that sometimes there is interesting history right on our doorstep. Who knew that I was from the original “oil capital” of the UK?!

Published by johnjex

Director and Principal Consultant, Jex Business Services.

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