Zero eight hundred. Tuesday, 27th October 1964.
A mighty liner steams up the Haven. For the?
Zero eight hundred. Tuesday, 27th October 1964.
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S/I CAPTION: Project Oil - Royal Occasion
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Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Zero eight hundred. Tuesday, 27th October 1964.
A mighty liner steams up the Haven. For the Royal Mail Ship MAURITANIA this is no ordinary landfall. This is project oil. Project Oil - Royal Occasion.
Pembroke Station, three hours later. The Queen Mother is welcomed by the Lord Lieutenant of Pembrokeshire, the Hon. R. Hanning Phillips. Her Majesty has travelled to Wales by overnight train. She is here to open the newest oil refinery in the rapidly expanding complex centred at Milford Haven. The passengers on board the MAURITANIA will be the guests at this opening ceremony.
A Royal occasion, project oil. An important occasion.
Its importance is underlined every minute of every day of all our lives.
No modern industrial nation can survive without oil. It is the lifeblood of this country. Every schoolboy knows this fact; every politician appreciates it.
Oil lubricates every mechanical thing which moves. It drives our jet cars, lorries and buses. It powers and lubricates the machines which make them. It heats our homes, makes electricity and provides gas. Man made fibres, plastics, detergents, waxes and insecticides and childrens toys. You name it and somewhere you strike oil.
But you don't literally strike oil in Britain. We have none to speak of. Today this country needs in excess of 56 million tons of refined oil products a year. CAPTION OVER FILM (train) We can only meet one percent of that figure ourselves. The rest must be imported.
Prior to World War TWO our needs were met by importing refined products. CAPTION SEQUENCE (1) With the increased demand of the post war years the oil industry underwent a revolution.
Crude oil would be imported and refined in Britain.
In 1947 2 1/2 million tons of crude oil were processed.
By 1954 production had increased tenfold. Over the last ten years it has rocketed. On the 31st December last UK production figures stood at 56 million tons.
And still is must increase. The consumer is king in an expanding economy and the consumer becomes more mechanised every day.
To cater for, and minimize the cost of his needs the great oil companies resorted to bulk transport.
A 75,000 ton tanker is more economical than a 50,000 tonner. A 100,000 ton model is better still. And this is what the ships have become. Indeed 130,000 ton giants which will dwarf any liner afloat, are on the drawing boards. The darlings of every economist in oil today.
Berthing a super tanker is one thing. But which harbour in Europe could tie up a floating well? Europort - Holland? Yes, but that's not much use to Britain. Britain can cope with these giants - but at one place only - Milford Haven.
Milford Haven, a natural deep water harbour with low water depths of up to 70 feet. Sheltered; at all times accessible. Milford Haven, a Liverpool of a port had Pembrokeshire indulged in cotton and the slave trade.
Luckily for the oil men, the Haven had been bypassed and was the hone of a fishing fleet only. The Admiralty had pottered about there, but its virgin state as a harbour was still intact when the oil companies started looking for new terminals in the early 50's.
Towards the end of 1957 BP started work on their Angle Bay terminal which would feed the massive Llandaroy refinery through 62 miles of overland pipelines.
Esso Petroleum quickly followed suit in the July of 1958. They started work on an ocean terminal and a refinery.
In just over two years - in the autumn of 1960 - the Esso Refinery at Herbrandston commenced production.
In 1962 1,813,343,000 gallons of crude oil entered Milford Haven compared with just over 7 million in 1958. Things were happening. Others were now planning.
1963 saw the start of work on the new project for the Regent Refining Company.
Mr. Desmond Donnelly MP for Pembrokeshire out the first sod on the 25th of February 1963. Project oil saw light of day.
Over 900 acres of land were earmarked by the company. The site on the South Bank of the Haven was in the National Park. Landscaping was the order of the day so that the natural beauty of the area should be disturbed as little as possible.
Two million cubic yards of earth were excavated so that nearly all the storage tanks could be sunk to prevent their breaking the skyline.
Some 2,000 trees were planted as an artificial ridge built up to a height of fifteen feet. Where these mature a large proportion of the refinery will be effectively concealed.
But the chimneys cannot be concealed. The clean air act sees to that neither can another part of the refinery - the new jetty - with its five berths.
This structure, it is anticipated will handle 1,000 ships a year.
From the jetty run 200 miles of pipelines weighing 7,500 tons. These are steam jacketed to prevent freezing in winter. These pipes are the arteries which carry the oil to feed this complex of aluminum and steel. Initially, over 70 million barrels of oil will be off loaded annually.
The first oil was pumped ashore on the 22nd July this year, from the 48,000 ton REGENT LIVERPOOL. On this first occasion a quarter of a million barrels of crude oil were offloaded at a rate in excess of 1 1/2 million gallons an hour. At this rate a 100,000 ton tanker discharges in 18 hours.
This first load of crude oil for the start up goes first to the half dozen or so storage tanks in their sunken sites.
From the crude storage tanks it is just a short hop to the Refinery proper, the Process area.
There the layman is lost in a maze of interlacing steel and aluminum pipes. The roar of superheated steam. The soaring stacks of 300 foot high chimneys. The hiss, the clang, the clatter, - and hardly a man in sight..............
In the autumn sunlight, the H. appear as every stage designers idea of a Martian township - or something.
The hotchpotch of steel tubes, spheres and cylinders. One hardly credits this tangle with being capable of producing the basic necessities of an industrial nation. Jet fuel, petrol, kerosines, diesel oils, fuel oils and liquified petroleum gases.
The control room - the brain of the refinery. Here is housed some of the most advanced electronic automatic refinery control equipment in use today.
And it only needs a handful of highly trained engineers to operate it.
It was here at the main control room that the Queen Mother came face to face with automated industry at its peak.
Her Majesty arrived at the control room after a warm welcome first at Pembroke, then at the refinery administration block.
The sun was out, so were the crowds.
After the formalities - the informalities - the informative chats with the engineers. The watching of dials which only fluctuate madly when something goes wrong. Nothing went wrong. Every man, every dial, every pipe, every molecule of oil was awaiting the off.
This was to come after a short tour of the refinery and a short speech followed by the so short ceremony which galvanised this 30 million pound this third Pembrokeshire oil installation into action.
But before the first of Regents daily three and a half million gallons started flowing into the storage tanks Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother had this to say.