Can you see them?
Not space invaders…they are drilling platforms. Out there, there is a hole in the seabed. It goes down through various layers of rock until it reaches either oil or gas. These can be pumped out, via the hole.
Here’s a better view of a drilling platform. As you can see it is quite a large and complicated structure, so the drilling company is spending a lot of money in order to drill the hole. But oil and gas are both valuable products. If they find them down the hole, then sales easily cover the costs of drilling.
You won’t see these off the coast just anywhere – they are clustered in 3 locations. The main area for oil is in the north of the North Sea, off the east coast of Scotland. Gas is found in the south of the North Sea, off the coast of Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. There is also some of both in the Irish Sea between Liverpool and the Lake District.
Pipes lead from the drilling platforms, across the sea bed to the shore.
This gas terminal in North Wales has received the gas being pumped out of Liverpool Bay since 1995. But the site that it is built on has a much longer history of fuelling Britain. I’ll tell you about it next week.