Diamond Jubilee - Charting 60 Years In Oil & Gas

Oil & Gas IQ

This week Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee. In this article we take a look at some of the events that have shaped the oil and gas world in the last 60 years, from Suez to shale gas.



1956 – The Suez Crisis – 1.5 million barrels of oil transited the 192km canal every day, 1.2 million of which was destined to the Western world, which came to a grinding halt during the conflict.

1959 - The world's first LNG tanker, The Methane Pioneer, carried an LNG cargo from Lake Charles.



1960 – At a September meeting in Baghdad, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela become the founding members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).


1964 – The UK Continental Shelf Act comes into force, paving the way for the exploitation of the British sector of the North Sea.



1970 – BP discovers the giant Forties Oil Field 110km east of Aberdeen. Producing first oil in 1975, this is still the North Sea’s largest field.

1973 – The Arab Oil Embargo sees the price of oil quadruple and Britain move to a 3 day working week as a consequence.



1980 – The beginning of the Great Oil Glut which would see the price of oil dip to below $10 per barrel at its culmination in 1986.

1988 – The Occidental Petroleum rig Piper Alpha explodes with the loss of 167 lives. As a result, North Sea HSE regulations become the tightest in the world.



1997 - The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December. At the time this pledged 83 signatories to radically cut man-made CO2 emissions.

1999 - Texas oilman, George Mitchell, develops an affordable way to extract natural gas from shale rock. This opens the door for the worldwide hydraulic fracturing phenomenon.



2006 –BG Group hits the Tupi oil field located in the Pre-Salt Santos Basin. The discovery is the largest in 30 years and opens up the world of deep-water oiland catapults Brazil into the top 10 oil producing nations in the world.

2008 – In July, a combination of natural disasters, geopolitical crises andaggressive speculation sends oil soaring to it’s highest ever price of $147 per barrel.



2010 – The Macondo Blowout – The semi-sub rig Deepwater Horizon explodes with the loss of 11 lives, a 4.9 million barrel oil spill and multi-billion dollar law suits. A defining moment for HSE and contracting across the world.

2011 – Shell make their final investments in the Prelude project to construct a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility to produce and export LNG from the Browse Basin, Australia. When completed it will be the first project of its kind in the world andfour times larger than the Sydney Opera House.