CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 4022
TitleMurchison North Sea Oil Field papers
Date1963 - 2007
Extent85 boxes, 21 volumes and 177 drawings: 35 linear metres
Creator NameConoco
Canadian Natural Resources
Administrative HistoryThe Murchison oil field, located in the northern North Sea around 200km north-east of the Shetland Islands, was discovered by the oil company Conoco in 1975. Production from the 250m-high, 52,000-tonne platform began in September 1980 and totalled around 400 million barrels of oil before ceasing in February 2014.

The platform, which stood in 150m of water and was regularly subjected to harsh weather and high waves, comprised 26 prefabricated modules for drilling, production and accommodation, supported on an eight-legged steel 'jacket' structure. The modules were removed to shore in 2016, followed by the jacket in 2017; only the footings of the structure remain in place.

The field and the platform were subsequently owned and operated by Oryx and Kerr-McGee before being acquired by Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) International in 2002. CNR extended the life of the field by around 10 years before finally undertaking decommissioning in 2014-2018.

The distinctive orange platform is well known in Aberdeen as there is a 1:33 scale model in the city's Maritime Museum. Despite its harsh environment and remote location, the platform was also highly regarded within the industry for the friendly atmosphere and high quality of food and facilities onboard.
Custodial HistoryRecords were retained by Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) International before being transferred to the archive.
SourceGifted by Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) International in March 2018.
DescriptionComprises reports, correspondence, minutes, photographs, engineering drawings, manuals and financial papers. These are arranged into five function-based categories: management and administration; engineering and construction; operations and production; health, safety and environment and decommissioning. The date range of the collection reflects machinery and equipment acquired from companies well in advance of the initial construction and design of the platform with the vast majority of the documentation and drawings dating from the mid 1970s onwards.
AppraisalThe collection has been appraised in line with normal archival procedures. Duplicates have been removed where possible.
ArrangementManagement and Administration 1975 - 2007
Engineering and Construction 1963 - 2007
Operations and Production 1975 - 2007
Health, Safety and Environment 1975 - 2007
Decommissioning 1994 - 1997
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAll records are available subject to the signed acceptance of the Department's access conditions. Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of the Department. Responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.
Add to My Items