Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  



12th September 2019

The death of the US billionaire t Boone Pickens, from Texas, has been revealed.

His Mesa Petroleum Inc. company discovered the North Sea's first oilfield that could be clearly seen from the land: It lies in the Moray Firth, c. 12 miles off the SE Caithness coast.

The site was the first to be explored & drilled off Scotland in the late 1960s by France's Total Oil Marine ... but the French firm did not drill deeply down enough to enter the oil-bearing 'reservoir'.

Pickens named the field Beatrice after his then wife : he divorced her and has had two subsequent marriages.

The oilfield, from which its output was sent by sub-sea pipeline to a sea-tanker loading terminal depot that it built at Nigg (next to Global Energy's yard), closed as depleted (i.e. drained) in the mid 2010s.

None-the less, the name Beatrice persists. It is the location for SSE's Beatrice Offshore Wind-Farm (BOWL) that was completed this year as the first of three major offshore wind-farms in the area (also Moray East & West).

BOWL in which Perth-based SSE is the lead operator has commercial partners from Denmark and China, was officially opened by the Duke of Rothesay in Summer, 2019. It is operated from a shore base at Wick and its harbour, while there is also a Wick airport-based heli-port . It cost c. £1.5 billion and is the biggest offshore aero--generator to date off Scotland.

Beatrice Oilfield had several operators after Mesa sold it: BNOC (British National Oil Co), BP. Talisman (ex-BP Canada) and latterly REPSOL, a Spanish/Chinese consortium.