Black Black Oil Preview

Black Black Oil

Our economic, historical and emotional entanglement with North Sea Oil gets ever more complex as we hurtle towards climate breakdown. This urgent film looks at the interconnection between oil, finance and the challenges for the UK to keep its emissions at 1.5%, according to the Paris Climate Agreement.


North Sea oil has been an invisible machine at the core of the UK. It now faces an uncertain future as activists and investors demand change. Is the era of North Sea oil over? Black Black Oil draws on the voices of young activists, oil company executives, economists and pension fund managers to explore the vital questions that affect all our lives. We have five to ten years to control our oil addiction, and yet the licensing of new oil fields such as the Cambo oil field off Shetland is seen to be in direct contradiction to the Government’s alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement and hosting of COP. This documentary looks at how the drama of global climate action is playing out in the fight over North Sea oil. Oil companies are convinced that they can continue to keep drilling while keeping to Net Zero ambitions through adopting new technologies, such as Carbon Capture. But climate scientists are deeply sceptical of the Net Zero concept and the time it would take for these technologies to be effective.

Black Black Oil reveals the hidden infrastructure of oil from the offshore rigs and the buried pipelines to its flow through the stock markets of London. It explores the complexity of the challenge as the North Sea industry struggles to meet the need to cut carbon emissions whilst oil workers see their livelihoods under threat and investors seek to protect their assets. Meanwhile a younger generation of climate activists are catalysed by the signs of impending chaos, and the very real threat of global sea level rises. Black Black Oil explores the complexities of transitioning away from oil and gas as a society and considers how quickly can we do it?

The film brings together a fascinating array of voices including: Holly Gillibrand (dubbed “Scotland’s Greta”), Emeka Emembolu (Senior VP of BP North Sea), Jake Molloy (Regional Organiser, RMT Union), Mikaela Loach (Edinburgh medical student currently suing the UK government), Sir Ian Wood (ex CEO, Wood Group), James Marriott (co-author of Crude Britannia), Sir David King (former UK Government’s Climate Advisor), Deirdre Michie (CEO of Oil & Gas UK), Steve Waygood (Chief Responsible Investor at Aviva Investors), Tessa Khan (climate lawyer from Uplift), Kevin Anderson (Professor of Energy & Climate Change, Manchester University), Ann Pettifor (economist & author), and others.


Emma Davie


Sonja Henrici


David Harron 


James Marriott, Terry Macalister


Kirstie McLure


Julian Schwanitz


Martin Kayser Landwehr


Sonja Henrici Creates Ltd


BBC Scotland & National Lottery through Creative Scotland

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