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FRIGG UK Documentation Project launched in Aberdeen

A new project is being launched this month in Aberdeen to promote and preserve the dramatic story of the UK oil and gas industry by preserving records of the UK part of the Frigg field.

The technical and economic importance and the cultural impact of the North Sea oil and gas industry has long been acknowledged in Norway, but is less widely recognised in the UK. All this is due to change with the launch of a major new project to record the industry.

The FRIGG UK Documentation Project is the first step in the creation of a permanent base at the University of Aberdeen for documents and archives, dating back over 40 years since the industry was founded.

The pilot project, funded by TOTAL E&P UK PLC and its partners, runs until June next year and an archivist has been appointed to record the history of the UK part of the Frigg activities. This includes the history of the gas compression platform MCP- 01, which is now being decommissioned, located half way between Scotland and the Frigg Field. The project will also record the initial development phases of the two 32” Frigg gas pipelines and the St Fergus Gas Terminal which will be in full operation for many years.

The post will involve selecting key records - including drawings, technical manuals, operational records, company journals, photographs, as well as film and video footage – cataloguing and digitising them, and making them available on the internet. It is expected that a considerable amount of personal memorabilia will come to light, and the project will include a series of interviews designed to capture the personal as well as the technical story.

The project’s Director, Dr Alan Knox, from the University of Aberdeen, said: ”This is an exciting development for us. We are delighted to be working with Total to bring together these records and make them available to the public for the first time."

This is an important step in launching an industry-wide initiative. With the experience being gained, we hope to encourage many other operators, companies and organisations to provide access to their records so that we can publicly celebrate the enormous contribution the oil and gas industry has made to the UK. These records will also represent a powerful educational tool to promote the excitement of the industry and its long term future." Capturing the Energy spokesperson, Christine Jones of TOTAL

“We’re going to tell the story of this important period, with its dramatic technological advances and its impact on everyone involved. We will preserve the records of this fast-developing industry for future generations. By starting this project now we can have the facilities and experience to move forward with the industry as it continues to develop over many future decades”.

The MCP-01 Cessation Manager for TOTAL E&P UK PLC, Erik Hjelde, said: “MCP-01 has played a vital part in securing the gas supply to the UK in the past. With the cessation of the Frigg Field and new technological solutions, which secure further use of the pipeline systems, we are now in the process of decommissioning the MCP- 01 platform. This provides an excellent opportunity to work with the University of Aberdeen to ensure the important contribution of this facility is recorded.” 

The Frigg project is expected to be the first of many in the UK sector, as part of a larger programme - ‘Capturing the Energy’. This has the aim of encouraging wider recognition of the huge importance of the offshore oil and gas industry, promoting the retention of the most significant records relating to the industry and enhancing future research programmes.

A steering group, made up of representatives from industry, archives, and academia, will take this agenda forward. Capturing the Energy spokesperson, Christine Jones of TOTAL said: “This is an important step in launching an industry-wide initiative. With the experience being gained, we hope to encourage many other operators, companies and organisations to provide access to their records so that we can publicly celebrate the enormous contribution the oil and gas industry has made to the UK. These records will also represent a powerful educational tool to promote the excitement of the  industry and its long term future.”

As well as Scottish Enterprise Grampian, TOTAL E&P UK PLC, the University of Aberdeen, and Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), the other partners include Aberdeen City Council, the DTI, UKOOA, BP, Shell and BACS.


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