Oil from the North Sea (1982)
After the experience of the oil crisis in 1973, the western industrial countries tried to reduce their dependence on OPEC imports. In particular, Great Britain and Norway intensified their efforts to open up oil deposits in the North Sea. With barely any domestic oil source, the Federal Republic relied heavily on Saudi Arabia, which was still its largest supplier. In 1981, Saudi Arabia was responsible for 31% of crude oil imports into the Federal Republic. Great Britain was the second largest supplier, accounting for almost 18% of imports. Drilling for oil and natural gas also took place in the North Sea, off the coast of northern Germany. These deposits were able to meet 20-25% of the nation’s natural gas requirements but could only satisfy a tiny percentage of its petroleum needs. This photograph features a conveyor rig operated by the Gelsenberg mining company approximately 40 miles to the west of the island of Heligoland.
Courtesy of the German Information Center