School Pupil

The Industry

Oil & gas is a vast, innovative and global industry. In the UK alone, there are thousands of people employed in oil & gas and the industry counts for 16.4% of the Government Corporate Tax receipts… that’s a lot!!

The industry started in the UK throughout the 1960’s and the UK is now one of the top 20 nations on the planet for both oil & gas production. But where does the oil come from? Oil doesn’t just go into our cars or help to heat our homes - it’s made into many different products like clothes, fertilizers, plastic bottles, pens - even lipstick!


The formation of oil is a very long and complicated process!  It all started around 400 million years ago with a build-up of layers of dead organisms on the seabed.  Over time, sand, clay and limestone layers covered the organisms (also referred to as sediments in oil & gas terms), choking out any oxygen and allowing bacteria to break the organisms down.

As the sediment was covered with more and more layers of sand etc, the weight of it all caused pressure and heat which transformed the material below into hydrocarbons – better known as oil or gas.

It’s amazing to see what is being produced so deep underground by the evolution of our planet and how the industry has worked out different ways and created innovative new technologies to extract it. The deepest well was drilled to 37,000 ft in Russia in 2003, that’s nearly 7½ miles underground!

There is also a vast amount of careers information available, have a look at our careers section for some help.

Oil & Gas Skills Navigator is supported by:

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC)
DECOM North Sea
Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB)
International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC)
Offshore Contractors Association (OCA)
Oil & Gas UK
Skills for Energy
Subsea UK