I’ve been in Aberdeen for the last two days, speaking with the dedicated men and women who work on the North Sea oil rigs.
Arriving on Tuesday, I headed off to Falck Safety Services for one of the most fascinating experiences I’ve had since becoming an MP. In order to reach the North Sea rigs you have to travel there by helicopter, and all passengers have to undergo safety training and an offshore survival course to ensure you know what to do in the event of your helicopter ditching into the sea.
So, alongside my intrepid civil servants who had to come with me, we donned some very stylish yellow drysuits and were dropped into a large water tank whilst strapped inside the fuselage of a helicopter. I was hugely impressed with the professionalism of those running the course, and it brought home the seriousness for all those men and women who travel back and forth from the rigs as a regular part of their jobs.
On Wednesday, we flew out to the Eastern Trough Area Project, known as ETAP, where I had the opportunity to speak with many of those working on the rigs, as well as with the Managing Director of BP Exploration North Sea Trevor Garlick about maximising the economic recovery of the North Sea from the existing wells.
I am very grateful to everyone for ensuring a safe trip, and for providing such an informative experience.