Sullom Voe

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Sullom Voe and the Brent Oil Field

Sullom Voe is the largest European oil terminal on Mainland , Shetland Islands . The bay was in World War II by the Norwegian Air Force and the Royal Air Force shared, there were flying boats of the type Catalina for maritime reconnaissance used. After the war, Sullom Voe was shut down. The facilities, including a temporary concrete runway, were rotting.


In 1969 the first oil deposits were discovered in the sea area between Norway and Scotland . Sullom Voe quickly became interesting for a planned oil terminal. The nearby WWII concrete runway was reactivated as Scatsta Airport to enable supply flights for the oil platforms. The oil terminal went into operation in 1975 and was finally completed in 1982. Since 1991, all oil from the Ninian and Brent oil fields has been pumped to Sullom Voe exclusively via underwater pipelines , so that tankers are no longer loaded on the open sea. Before that, transfer platforms such as the Brent Spar were also in use, from which tankers were filled directly in the oil field.

Braer tanker accident

On the night of January 4 to 5, 1993, the tanker Braer ran aground off the steep coast near Sumburgh in a storm and after engine damage and broke. This accident showed the ineffectiveness of the means to fight oil spills that were stored in the oil terminal. They were not suitable for use in open coastal waters, as they were originally only intended for use in the terminal facility itself. The only way to prevent a catastrophe was that the oil was literally blown to the wind by the storm. This incident sparked discussions about the protection of the Shetland Islands.

Coordinates: 60 ° 27 ′ 43 "  N , 1 ° 16 ′ 56"  W.